When you hear that a 37 year old MMA trainer that looks as fit as a bull died, your first reaction is to think it’s some sort of twisted bullshit story. Unfortunately that is not the case: Shawn Tompkins was found dead Sunday morning … the most information we have on the cause is that ‘he didn’t wake up.’

Tompkins was a well respected fight coach who’s worked with a who’s who of the MMA scene. He helped Dan Henderson unleash his overhand right at Team Quest, brought Vitor Belfort back from the edge of irrelevancy at XTreme Couture, and of course was behind Team Tompkins which included Mark Hominick, Sam Stout, and Chris Horodecki.

Tompkins was also a friend of our network overlords, Rebellion Media. When they threw the CrashMMA bus to UFC 96, Tompkins was on it with his stable of fighters, laughing, drinking, and having a great time. He was a very nice guy to me, despite the fact that we’ve said some Fightlinkery things about him in the past.

His wife Emile, Sam Stout’s sister, released this statement about Shawn’s death:

“Team Tompkins thanks everyone for all of the condolences that have come in since the tragic news of ‘The Coach’s’ death. Shawn would be touched beyond words by the outpouring of love from the MMA community. Sam Stout, Chris Horodecki, Mark Hominick, Kekoa Quipolta, Mr. and Mrs. Tompkins and I thank you for the respect you have shown us during this trying time. Shawn loved MMA and he considered all of you family. We will miss our Coach very much.”

RIP Shawn Tompkins. May you train Jesus and the angels to brawl it up in heaven.