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Friends and Family Remember Former Force Coach - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Friends and Family Remember Former Force Coach

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The hockey community is mourning the loss of a former coach tonight. Chad Johnson was hit by a train Monday evening on the 4100 block of Main Avenue in Fargo.

Now friends and family are struggling with the sudden loss. But it's not just them, Chad Johnson worked with many hockey programs including his four years playing at UND.

"The UND Hockey family has lost a great member." says Dave Hakstol UND Hockey Head Coach. "Chad had such a positive impact on everyone who knew him, including myself, his UND teammates, and the hundreds of kids who loved playing for him. We are all better for knowing him and we will miss his quick wit and genuine friendship. We will have Chad and his family in our thoughts and prayers."

But one person is still in shock, trying to figure out if all of this is really happening. It's Paul Wixo the Fargo Force Equipment/Player Relations Manager.

Sitting at his desk, Paul has changed his desktop background to a picture of Chad. To remind him who helped get him to where he is today.

"Ever since he took the extra step for me, and got me an interview for this job, you know our first year here is when I really go to know Chad, and he was a big part of where my life direction went." Paul says having a hard time getting out the last words.

Chad helped form the Fargo Force program, but went on to other coaching roles as well. He dedicated 8 years to the United States Hockey League.

But through all he did, it was his personality that's touched many. And those players and co-workers showed their support today all over social media sites.

"The guys just loved him." Paul laughs. "And I've already seen a bunch of them comment how great of a coach on the ice he was and how they loved to be around him."

In Paul's office his walls are filled with Force apparel thanks to Chad helping him get the job. A person he and many will miss.

"To have him be gone just like that, life is just too short. You know and to have a guy like that exit the world it's a big loss." Paul says sadly.

But he hopes the memories Chad left behind will help everyone through this tough time.  

"I just hope everybody gets though it, and be strong Johnson family, be strong." Paul wishes.

Police say they do not suspect foul play surrounding Johnson's death.

Chad leaves behind a girlfriend and a 6 year old son.

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