Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Former Stars Head Coach Chad Johnson found dead in Fargo

Very sad news to report today.

Former Lincoln Stars assistant and head coach Chad Johnson was found dead Monday evening in Fargo, ND.  I will post some links below with more information.

InForum.com
Grand Forks Herald
Lincoln Journal Star
University of North Dakota
USHL.com

I've been sitting all morning at work trying to concentrate on other things, but it has been very hard.  When these things happen, and with the suddenness of it, it’s very difficult to understand how and why.  I feel sick to my stomach.

Chad was always so nice to me over the years.  I’m just an idiot with a blog, but Chad always made it a point to track me down at Lincoln’s tryout camp every June to talk about the team.  He never had to do that, and I would have been fine if he didn't track me down.  But he took the time to say hi, and always joked he was going to look at my tryout camp notes.  At this last camp, we sat and talked for quite a while about the team.  It's hard to believe that he is gone now.

During the season, whenever I’d pass him in the concourse inside the IceBox, Chad would always stop and say hi to my wife and I.  A few years ago when I blew out my knee and was hobbling around on crutches, he would stop and ask me how I was doing.  And he was genuine.  You could tell that Chad honestly cared.  Again, he didn't have to do that but he did.  He was a kind soul.

It has been incredible today to see the amount of people on Twitter who were positively affected by Chad.  He touched the lives of so many people.  I've been RT'ing tweets from friends of Chad all day on the blog's Twitter account.  The outpouring has been amazing.

Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the extended Johnson family.  I can’t imagine what they are going through right now.  If any of them are reading this, please know that all of us here in Lincoln send our support in this time of need.

Rest in peace, Chad.  You will be greatly missed by everyone in Stars Nation.

Edit:  With the approval of former Lincoln Stars hall-of-fame foward Chris Fournier, I'm going to post a note below that Chris sent me this afternoon.  Chris wanted to share his thoughts about Chad with the rest of Stars Nation.  I appreciate him reaching out to me.

So many kind words have been said of coach Chad. And rightfully so. He was not only my coach, but my friend. He was the type of person you could go to no matter what the situation and he'd make you feel better about the situation and about yourself. He had a great personality, which was only surpassed by his great humor. 
I would not have been a Lincoln Star if it was not for Chad. He came into my parents home and not only sold us on the Stars organization, but sold us on himself and Steve. He promised my parents that he would look after a 15 year old kid who had never been away from his parents. And that's what he did. Was always there for a laugh and to make me feel comfortable in my surroundings. Never blew hot air up your ass but never tore you down either. He loved hockey and coached every game and practice with passion and heart. Because of Chad, I made one of the best decisions of my life. And that was to play for a great organization, a great city and the great fans of Lincoln. 
You'll be missed dearly Coach, but never forgotten. God bless your family.
-Chris Fournier

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

May he rest in peace, our boys will need to focus on the vision he shared, and the great man he was to you the family, the team, the staff, and the fans that he touched with his words and wisdom

Brandon Anderson said...

Chris said it best right there. "He loved hockey and coached every game and practice with passion and heart"

BA

Anonymous said...

Condolences to his family, Sorry for their loss.

Anonymous said...

My condolences to his family, Sorry for your loss.