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MMA Trainer Shawn Tompkins, 37, Found Dead in Canada

Multiple sources have confirmed that well-regarded MMA coach Shawn Tompkins has passed away at the age of 37. He was found dead Sunday morning in Canada, where he was traveling with members of his Team Tompkins stable. As UFC vet John Gunderson put it, Tompkins “didn’t wake up.” No other details on Tompkins’s death are immediately available.

Tompkins’s wife Emilie — the sister of UFC lightweight Sam Stout — released a statement last night from their home in Las Vegas:

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.”

Though his own MMA career was less than successful, Tompkins found his calling as a trainer, and helped launch the careers of Canadian MMA stars like Mark Hominick, Sam Stout, and Chris Horodecki. In 2007, the Ontario native began to gain broader recognition as the coach of the IFL’s Los Angeles Anacondas team, which led to a coaching residency at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Tompkins left XC in 2009 and moved to the TapouT Training Center, where he coached until his death.

Recently, Tompkins and Sam Stout had led an anti-bullying drive in Canada.

Related stories

- Exclusive: Shawn Tompkins Talks Brazilian Time, His “Fighter House” + More

- Junie Browning Arrested for Assault, Fired From the UFC After Hospital Freak-Out (in which Shawn Tompkins saves Browning’s life despite Junie’s best efforts to kill himself)

- Shawn Tompkins on Kit Cope: “He Just Made a Lot of Great Fighters Angry”

Cagepotato Comments

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bjjpenn- October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm
Poor taste to link the videos of him getting knocked out. Im sure if a family member of Shawn's were to see this article and see those videos they would be considerably upset. But for that to happen that would have to have heard about this site.
Zee German- August 16, 2011 at 2:15 am
What a sad day for the sport. Best wishes and thoughts to the family. RIP, Coach.
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XENOPHON- August 15, 2011 at 10:29 am
I have to wonder where Shawn Tompkins venerable stable is going to head next for training. Since he was married to Stouts sister, possibly the widow and her brother will soldier on and keep the doors open?
Aside from this loyalty, I wonder if the other prospects Chris Horodecki, Mark Hominick, and Kekoa Quipolta clear out their lockers and head to one of the larger training centers. Sticking around with the memories and family of a deceased is akin to tippy-toeing.
If Thompkins was as advertised, he would not want others to miss out on training with the best. I suppose it's just a real shitty situation for all. If any of them bail for camp Randy, it should not be held against them.
A fighter is only able to compete for a relatively short time in their lives, lets hope those with the living don't get sucked into the doldrums.
intercept440- August 15, 2011 at 8:36 am
yeah being 37 myself, and not being in the best physical shape ive ever been in coupled with my 7 to 10 beer a night habit tends to make ya think a bit....
RwilsonR- August 15, 2011 at 8:02 am
37 is way too young for any decent person to go. Best wishes to the family and friends he leaves behind.
ArmFarmer- August 15, 2011 at 7:43 am
Trying to decide if writing an article about a man's death that includes a link to him being beaten up and humiliated 4 times is offensive or not... I think I'm too insensitive and offensive myself to make a decision like that. Oh well, whatever.
Viva Hate- August 15, 2011 at 7:03 am
A big loss for MMA and very sad news. RIP
ReX13- August 15, 2011 at 6:58 am
Very sad news. Best wishes to the family.
Todd M- August 15, 2011 at 6:55 am
His fighters are always improving, truly a great coach. RIP Shawn
kinky friend- August 15, 2011 at 6:43 am
this sucks,,, RIP
worst part about getting older for me is that people from my generation are passing.. makes me realize my own mortality just a bit
henropotter- August 15, 2011 at 5:59 am
Never met the man, but anytime he was interviewed he seemed to be a good guy that actually gave a shit about his students. RIP