Decals to Honor Slain Iowa Football Coach

NFL players , from left, Casey Wiegman, Aaron Kampman, Jared DeVries, and Brad Meester carry the casket of Ed Thomas into the First Congregational Church in Parkersburg on Monday morning, June 29, 2009, for the funeral of Thomas, head football coach of Aplington-Parkersburg High School, who was shot and killed by a former football player last week. (Mary Mathis for The Gazette)

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By Becky Ogann

PARKERSBURG (AP) - An Iowa high school football coach who was shot to death this summer is to be honored with a special helmet decal this season.

The Iowa Football Coaches Association and the Iowa High School Athletic Association announced the decals would be available on Monday, the same day as the first practice for football players at Aplington-Parkersburg High School.

Coach Ed Thomas was slain in June in the weight room at Aplington-Parkersburg High School, where he coached for 34 years in the rural community of 1,800 residents 80 miles northeast of Des Moines.

The new helmet decal will read "FFF" for faith, family and football.

Former player, 24-year-old Mark Becker, has been charged with first-degree murder in the coach's death.

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