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Assistant college football coach dies in fall at Aragon Ballroom

Kyle Kirchhoff | Loras Athletic Department

A 24-year-old assistant football coach at the College of DuPage died after he fell from a catwalk during a concert Friday night at the Aragon Ballroom in Uptown.

Kyle Kirchhoff, a defensive line coach, fell from a catwalk during the Chevelle concert at the Aragon Ballroom at 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. at 10:21 p.m., said authorities and spokespeople at his alma mater, Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.

Before coaching at the college level, Kirchhoff was an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, Bartlett High School, according to the Loras College Athletic Department. Kirchhoff played as a defensive lineman for Loras College, appearing in 32 games in his career. He graduated in 2013 with a sports management degree.

Loras College head football coach Steve Helminiak said Sunday that Kirchhoff “had a smile that was infectious” and loved his friends and playing football.

Kirchhoff “was looking to get into [coaching at] a four-year school,” said Helminiak, who was an assistant coach at Loras when Kirchhoff played there. “He was going to eventually get there. He had such great friendships and made a great impression on his coaches.”

“It is a tragic loss,” Helminiak said.

Denise Udelhofen, Loras College’s director of athletics, said in a separate interview that Kirchhoff was “a true Duhawk” because he exemplified the school mascot’s ideal of supporting student athletes.

Kirchhoff continued to attend Loras College sporting events and participated in the annual golf outing after he had graduated, Udelhofen said.

“He stayed connected to the athletic department, and the football team was most near and dear to his heart,” she said.

Kirchhoff, of the 3800 block of Pondview Drive in Hanover Park, fell onto two pieces of metal protruding from the floor and suffered two punctures wounds to his chest, police said. He was taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead later that night.

An autopsy was performed Saturday but a ruling on the cause of death is pending further investigation, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

“To our fans at the Chicago show: We are very sorry we had to end the show early,” according to a post on Chevelle’s Facebook page.

“Due to a serious injury in the crowd the fire marshal was forced to cancel the rest of the show. We hope that whoever was injured makes a swift recovery,” according to the post.

Area North detectives are conducting a death investigation, police said.