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Chris Murphy, Published March 29 2013

Force coach John Marks gets contract extension as team cliches playoff spot Friday

FARGO – Fargo head coach John Marks will be exactly where he has been the last two seasons for the next two: At the helm of the Force in the United States Hockey League.

Fargo announced Friday that the Force extended Marks’ contract for two years.

“I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful to (Force owner Ace Brandt) and the Fargo Force organization to give me the opportunity to continue to do what I love to do,” Marks said.

Last season, Marks coached the Force to a

31-23-6 record and the teams’ fourth consecutive trip to the USHL Clark Cup playoffs. After Friday night’s game at Des Moines, the Force clinched a playoff spot and are 36-16-7.

“Right now, I couldn’t be in a better place as a hockey coach or in my life,” Marks said. “I am very thankful to be surrounded by a tremendous group of people with the coaching staff, the front office and the players. They say anytime you have success, it’s because you’re surrounded by good people. I hope we can continue the great tradition that was started from year one with Dean Blais and carry on what we all want to do and that’s to try and win a Clark Cup.”

Marks began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of North Dakota in 1982 and helped lead UND to the 1987 NCAA Championship. He also had stints as a head coach in the East Coast Hockey League, the Southern Professional Hockey League, the International Hockey League and the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League.

“We are pleased to have extended John’s contract for an additional two years,” Force General Manager Jon Kram said. “The team has been successful over the last two seasons with him on the bench and we look forward to that continued success under John’s leadership.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548