Chad Johnson: 1970-2013

Former UND hockey player and USHL coach remembered for positive impact.

Chad Johnson plays hockey during his time at UND. Photo courtesy of UND Athletics.

Chad Johnson, a former UND hockey player and USHL coach for eight seasons, died Monday at age 43.

As a Grand Forks native and letter winner from 1990-91 to 1992-93, Johnson appeared in 95 UND games and played alongside current North Dakota men’s hockey coach Dave Hakstol.

“The UND hockey family has lost a great member,” Hakstol said in a press release. “Chad had such a positive impact on everyone who knew him, including myself, his teammates and the hundreds of kids who loved playing for him. We are all better for knowing him, and we will mis his quick wit and genuine friendship. We will have Chad and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Johnson was a former assistant coach of the Fargo Force and went on to coach the USHL Lincoln Stars, where he compiled a 110-62-12 record during his three seasons with the Stars and brought his team to a USHL Western Conference regular season championship in 2011-12.

“The USHL lost a member of its family last night,” USHL president and commissioner Skip Prince said in a press release. “Chad Johnson was a talented and successful coach — as his record shows — but he also had a way of connecting to people, which was special, from his players, to the fans in Lincoln and Fargo where he coached, to those of us here at the League office. We will miss him, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Johnson’s brother, Steve Johnson, also played at UND from 1984-88 and his nephews Luke Johnson and Paul LaDue currently are freshman on this year’s hockey team.