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USHL Mourns Loss of Former Coach Chad Johnson

Tuesday November 19, 2013

Chad Johnson spent eight seasons as a coach in the USHL, including three seasons as head coach of the Lincoln Stars where his teams won 110 games. (photo by Brandon Anderson)

Chad Johnson, a former coach in the USHL for eight seasons, passed away on Monday, November 18th in Fargo, North Dakota at the age of 43.

Johnson most recently was the head coach of the Lincoln Stars for three seasons (2010-13) and compiled an overall record of 110-62-12, leading the Stars to the playoffs all three years.  He guided Lincoln to a 39-22-3 record during the 2012-13 season, the most wins for the team since the 2001-02 campaign.  Johnson earned his 100th USHL coaching victory in a 3-2 win against the Fargo Force on March 2nd, 2013.  He resigned his position with the team prior to the beginning of this season.

Five players were selected in the NHL Draft during Johnson’s tenure in Lincoln, and more than 40 earned NCAA Division I hockey opportunities.

“The USHL lost a member of its family last night,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince.  “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 first began his USHL coaching career with the Stars during their inaugural season (1996-97), serving as an assistant under his brother, Steve, and helping lead Lincoln to the Clark Cup title.  He stayed with the Stars in that role for two more seasons before pursuing coaching opportunities in other junior leagues. 

Chad returned to the USHL during the 2008-09 season with the Fargo Force, serving as assistant coach under Dean Blais during the team’s inaugural season.  He would be reunited with his brother the following season when Steve became the head coach of the Force.  The team would reach the Clark Cup Final series both years.

The Grand Forks, North Dakota native played four collegiate seasons in his hometown at the University of North Dakota.  He was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the sixth round (117th overall) in the 1988 NHL Draft.  Johnson went on to play three seasons of minor pro hockey before starting his coaching career.


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14.  A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).

It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.

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