Shawn Tompkins, one of the most respected trainers in Mixed Martial Arts, has passed away at age 37 from unknown medical reasons while sleeping. While his loss as a coach is certainly a blow to the development of both new and veteran fighters, more importantly it has left a hole in the hearts of his friends, family, peers, fans, and scores of  people he had never even met or didn’t know beyond a brief encounter.

Tompkins first came to prominence as a coach at Xtreme Couture before moving on to the TapouT Training Center and eventually landing in Canada to found Team Tompkins where he worked with athletes like Sam Stout (his brother-in-law), Mark Hominick, and Chris Horodecki.

The outpouring of grief was immediate across the landscape of the internet as Tompkins touched countless individuals with his kind spirit and generosity. Below are comments from some of the sport’s personalities taken from Twitter:

“RIP Shawn Tompkins. He was one of the greatest MMA coaches.” – Demian Maia

“Shawn’s light burned brighter than most. He will be missed by so many people. My heart goes out to the Tompkins family.” – Sean Shelby, WEC/Strikeforce matchmaker

“RIP Shawn Tompkins, you were a wonderful man and trainer. You will be sorely missed.” – Frank Shamrock

“Sad to hear the news about Shawn Tompkins. My condolences to his family. He was a great guy and coach.” – Chuck Liddell

“RIP Shawn Tompkins. We trained, traveled together, coached with & against each other & played together. I’m gonna Miss U You Crazy Canadian!” – Duke Roufus

“Shawn Tompkins was one of my best friends. He passed way too early leaving his beautiful wife Emile, family and friends behind. He’s gonna be missed. He texted me yesterday evening telling me he loved me, so, thank God, I called him to tell him it was mutual. Godspeed my friend, I’m gonna miss you a lot!” – Bas Rutten

The thoughts and prayers of the MMATraining staff are with his friends and family. He may be gone but the light he brought into this world will never be extinguished.