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Red Berenson coached his Michigan for 33 seasons (photo: Melissa Wade).

Red Berenson, who led Michigan to two national championships in 33 seasons coaching his alma mater, is retiring, the school announced on Monday.

“I’ve thought about this for a long time and I think this is the right time and it’s the right thing to do for the Michigan hockey program,” Berenson said in a statement released by the school. “My heart will always be at Michigan and I look forward to the team taking the next step and making me proud as a former coach.”

Michigan was 848-426-92 under Berenson and won the 1996 and 1998 NCAA championships.

“Red Berenson is a legendary figure at the University of Michigan as well as in our ice hockey history,” said Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. “Throughout his career, Red has focused on the academic and athletic success of the young men who have come through our program while shaping the sport as we know it today.”

Prior to taking the coaching job at Michigan, Berenson spent three years as the coach of the St. Louis Blues and two years as an assistant under the legendary Scotty Bowman at Buffalo. Those coaching jobs in the NHL came after a productive career as a player in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. He finished with 261 goals and 397 assists in 987 games — the most career points by any Michigan alumnus in the NHL.

As a coach with the St. Louis Blues, Berenson earned the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year in 1981, then spent two seasons as Bowman’s assistant.

Berenson took the coaching position at Michigan in 1984 at a down time for the program, where Michigan was actually considering dropping the hockey program altogether. Berenson, who was a three-year letter-winner as a player with Michigan, resurrected Michigan as a hockey power.

Under Berenson, the Wolverines qualified for the NCAA tournament in 23 of the past 27 seasons. Berenson led Michigan to 22 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament from 1991-2012, the longest streak ever in college hockey. During those years, Michigan reached the NCAA Frozen Four 11 times, won national championships in 1996 and 1998, and lost the national title game in 2011 3-2 in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth.

Berenson became the fourth collegiate ice hockey coach to record 800 career victories, which he achieved with a 7-5 win against Minnesota on Jan. 10, 2015. Berenson’s 848 victories place him fourth on the  all-time win list behind Boston College coach Jerry York (1,033), the late Ron Mason of Michigan State (924), and former Boston University coach Jack Parker (897).

Most recently, Berenson was named 2016 Big Ten coach of the year, leading Michigan to a record 36th NCAA tournament appearance in program history, and the 23rd NCAA bid in his tenure at Michigan.

  • litsskad

    Thanks, Red! A true Michigan great!

    • mark

      A man of true class and one who will be missed. Thank you Red for all you did for Michigan and college hockey. An amazing run and got the best out of your players.

  • litsskad

    Thanks, Red! A true Michigan great!

    • mark

      A man of true class and one who will be missed. Thank you Red for all you did for Michigan and college hockey. An amazing run and got the best out of your players.

  • DrunkTrainPolka

    .
    and who takes over for him?

    PLEASE LEAVE MEL PEARSON ALONE!

    GO TECH GOLD!
    .

    • Grant Dossetto

      Muckalt would seem like a natural choice for Tech since he just spent 5 seasons there as an assistant.

      Maybe Damon Whitten too?

      • DrunkTrainPolka

        .
        i am talking about red. can NOT think of a replacement for MP if it came to that. ;(

        i think he will stay… :)

        muckalt is a great choice. damon wants MSU.
        .

        • Grant Dossetto

          MSU hired a coach. Danton Cole who runs the USNTDP in Plymouth just outside Detroit.

          • model94

            Sparty saved some $$ on relo.

      • Roaring Aardvark

        I would think that Whitten would consider MTU a sideways step in his career, not a step up. MTU *would* be a step up for Muckalt, but I don’t think that ultimately he’d be any different than the other guys who used the job as a mere stepping stone to bigger and better things.

        • Grant Dossetto

          The big thing though is that there aren’t a lot of major programs who will be looking for guys in the next 10 years once the spot is filled in Ann Arbor. NoDak, UMD, St Cloud, Minn St, Mich St, Wisconsin, Mich will all be set with guys.

          BC will be opening up soon. Maybe Minny as Lucia will probably be done within a decade. Western will have a new coach as Murray won’t be there forever. Maybe Montgomery jumps to the NHL at DU. And…

          If Tech did have to replace Pearson with a guy like Muckalt and they pay him, they’ll get a good run out of him. Whitten too if we think he is the real deal (personally not yet sold).

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            there is no way i would consider damon whitten here at tech.

            if pearson happens to leave, maybe muckalt – he is young! but possibly george gowzdecky – even ‘tho you would have him for at most 10 years.

            FYI, on how things play out… at NMU they had 69 applicants. at RPI, 127…

            how many at UM? 69×127?

            probably more like six.. i bet berenson has already made his suggestions – and they will listen.

            and i can’t quite figure out how billy powers plays into the mix.

            24 years there… not counting his playing days. would red not suggest him? is NOT taking a chance on him unethical?

            GO TECH GOLD!
            .

          • Grant Dossetto

            For personal interest, can I see the source on the NMU and RPI applications. I haven’t seen that info elsewhere.

            I think that helps make my point though to a degree. Sandelin, Motzko, Berry, Hastings, etc. all seem pretty well established for the long haul. A ton of guys looking for jobs and not a lot of opportunities.

            Can add Notre Dame to list that will probably have a new coach within 10 years. Jackson is starting to get up there. Opportunities exist in the mid-tier but Tech can compete for candidates with Miami (Oh), Maine, ECAC, etc. It is North Dakota or a similar program that they have to worry about being a stepping stone to.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            the NMU number (69) came from the mining journal (MQT) interviewing their athletic director, forest karr.

            “After 69 people applied for the position, a search committee from the university narrowed the list to 15 for video interviews and completed the last one Monday [April 3rd] night.” they hope to make an announcement before the end of the month – within two weeks from april 3rd actually.

            the 127 number from RPI came from the press conference announcing smith as their new coach. it was given by current RPI president, shirley jackson.

            hope this helps…

            GO TECH GOLD!
            .

  • DrunkTrainPolka

    .
    and who takes over for him?

    PLEASE LEAVE MEL PEARSON ALONE!

    GO TECH GOLD!
    .

    • Grant Dossetto

      Muckalt would seem like a natural choice for Tech since he just spent 5 seasons there as an assistant.

      Maybe Damon Whitten too?

      • DrunkTrainPolka

        .
        i am talking about red. can NOT think of a replacement for MP if it came to that. ;(

        i think he will stay… :)

        muckalt is a great choice. damon wants MSU.
        .

        • Grant Dossetto

          MSU hired a coach. Danton Cole who runs the USNTDP in Plymouth just outside Detroit.

          • model94

            Sparty saved some $$ on relo.

      • Roaring Aardvark

        I would think that Whitten would consider MTU a sideways step in his career, not a step up. MTU *would* be a step up for Muckalt, but I don’t think that ultimately he’d be any different than the other guys who used the job as a mere stepping stone to bigger and better things.

        • Grant Dossetto

          The big thing though is that there aren’t a lot of major programs who will be looking for guys in the next 10 years once the spot is filled in Ann Arbor. NoDak, UMD, St Cloud, Minn St, Mich St, Wisconsin, Mich will all be set with guys.

          BC will be opening up soon. Maybe Minny as Lucia will probably be done within a decade. Western will have a new coach as Murray won’t be there forever. Maybe Montgomery jumps to the NHL at DU. And…

          If Tech did have to replace Pearson with a guy like Muckalt and they pay him, they’ll get a good run out of him. Whitten too if we think he is the real deal (personally not yet sold).

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            there is no way i would consider damon whitten here at tech.

            if pearson happens to leave, maybe muckalt – he is young! but possibly george gowzdecky – even ‘tho you would have him for at most 10 years.

            FYI, on how things play out… at NMU they had 69 applicants. at RPI, 127…

            how many at UM? 69×127?

            probably more like six.. i bet berenson has already made his suggestions – and they will listen.

            and i can’t quite figure out how billy powers plays into the mix.

            24 years there… not counting his playing days. would red not suggest him? is NOT taking a chance on him unethical?

            GO TECH GOLD!
            .

          • Grant Dossetto

            For personal interest, can I see the source on the NMU and RPI applications. I haven’t seen that info elsewhere.

            I think that helps make my point though to a degree. Sandelin, Motzko, Berry, Hastings, etc. all seem pretty well established for the long haul. A ton of guys looking for jobs and not a lot of opportunities.

            Can add Notre Dame to list that will probably have a new coach within 10 years. Jackson is starting to get up there. Opportunities exist in the mid-tier but Tech can compete for candidates with Miami (Oh), Maine, ECAC, etc. It is North Dakota or a similar program that they have to worry about being a stepping stone to.

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            the NMU number (69) came from the mining journal (MQT) interviewing their athletic director, forest karr.

            “After 69 people applied for the position, a search committee from the university narrowed the list to 15 for video interviews and completed the last one Monday [April 3rd] night.” they hope to make an announcement before the end of the month – within two weeks from april 3rd actually.

            the 127 number from RPI came from the press conference announcing smith as their new coach. it was given by current RPI president, shirley jackson.

            hope this helps…

            GO TECH GOLD!
            .

  • jmsptrk

    An all-time great. Congrats on all your successes, Red.

    So who are the leading candidates for a plum gig like this?

    • DrunkTrainPolka

      .
      pearson (dammit!)
      muckalt
      wiseman
      powers

      and probably in that order.

      GO TECH GOLD!
      .

      • jmsptrk

        Isn’t Tech Mel’s Alma Mater? Think they could pry him away? (I mean…I’m sure UM could probably bump up his salary just a skosh.)

        • Grant Dossetto

          Tech pays Pearson nearly $300,000 and Houghton is one of the cheapest places to live in the country I’d guess. It would take a ton to get him to go to Ann Arbor, Jerry York type salary.

          • Roaring Aardvark

            I suspect that’s base salary, which may not be very useful here. For instance, Harbaugh and Beilein (FB/MBB coaches at U-M, respectively) have base salaries of 500K and 400K respectively, but have bonus/incentive/etc. packages driving both into multi-million dollar ranges (I’ve seen 9M and 2.45M, respectively). In addition, per the Freep they even have 3 assistant FB coaches over 1M once you include similar packages. Red’s current base was around 240K but I haven’t seen anything else. Haven’t seen anything regarding Mel’s total compensation either.

            The bad news for us Tech fans is that U-M certainly can afford to lure Mel away. More bad news is that Mel spent more time in Ann Arbor as Red’s assistant than he did in Houghton between playing and coaching combined. He wouldn’t have stuck around that long if he didn’t like the area.

            I hate to say it, but I got a bad feeling about this…

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            i hope its just a bad feeling…

            nothing else.
            .

          • Roaring Aardvark

            Me too, eh?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            i would like to think that pearson came on board at MTU in not much different circumstances then red at UM in ’84.

            so i would like to think that pearson has enough integrity to (stay and) be as impactful, classy, and mission-accomplished here at tech. things just got rolling… and tech is one hell of an out of the way place… it takes an alum to love this school! and dammit, do we love this school!

            going to UM is too easy… however alluring because of the facilities, history, money, etc, etc – recruiting alone comes easier. and that’s not even asking what his wife thinks. ;)

            i would like to see us join a stronger conference or play better teams… that’s what i see lacking, some more opportunities.

            if tech joined the B1G, do you think mel would leave for UM? i don’t think so… anyway;

            dear mel pearson;

            please stay. please.

            thanks, kiko

            with that being said… here is hoping UM is making a move like wisco… three alums in muckalt, powers, and wiseman.

            muckalt’s youth and drive is totally comparable to pearson’s experience and age.

            let muckalt/power/wiseman prove themselves… they deserve a shot.

            and let mel pearson retire in houghton.

            here is hoping for the best.

            GO TECH GOLD!
            .

        • DrunkTrainPolka

          .
          yep… hoping it weighs in… ;)

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

          • Roaring Aardvark

            The *one* thing I see weighing in Tech’s favor right now is Mel’s age. He’s 58 now, and U-M went for younger hires for FB (Harbaugh was 51 when hired, 53 now) and MBB (Beilein was 54 when hired, 64 now). Powers is 51, Wiseman 45 and Muckalt 42. Does U-M go for a younger hire/longer term outlook?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            and if muckalt is U-M’s choice; i would shoot myself if i were billy powers…
            .

  • jmsptrk

    An all-time great. Congrats on all your successes, Red.

    So who are the leading candidates for a plum gig like this?

    • DrunkTrainPolka

      .
      pearson (dammit!)
      muckalt
      wiseman
      powers

      and probably in that order.

      GO TECH GOLD!
      .

      • jmsptrk

        Isn’t Tech Mel’s Alma Mater? Think they could pry him away? (I mean…I’m sure UM could probably bump up his salary just a skosh.)

        • Grant Dossetto

          Tech pays Pearson nearly $300,000 and Houghton is one of the cheapest places to live in the country I’d guess. It would take a ton to get him to go to Ann Arbor, Jerry York type salary.

          • Roaring Aardvark

            I suspect that’s base salary, which may not be very useful here. For instance, Harbaugh and Beilein (FB/MBB coaches at U-M, respectively) have base salaries of 500K and 400K respectively, but have bonus/incentive/etc. packages driving both into multi-million dollar ranges (I’ve seen 9M and 2.45M, respectively). In addition, per the Freep they even have 3 assistant FB coaches over 1M once you include similar packages. Red’s current base was around 240K but I haven’t seen anything else. Haven’t seen anything regarding Mel’s total compensation either.

            The bad news for us Tech fans is that U-M certainly can afford to lure Mel away. More bad news is that Mel spent more time in Ann Arbor as Red’s assistant than he did in Houghton between playing and coaching combined. He wouldn’t have stuck around that long if he didn’t like the area.

            I hate to say it, but I got a bad feeling about this…

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            i hope its just a bad feeling…

            nothing else.
            .

          • Roaring Aardvark

            Me too, eh?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            i would like to think that pearson came on board at MTU in not much different circumstances then red at UM in ’84.

            so i would like to think that pearson has enough integrity to (stay and) be as impactful, classy, and mission-accomplished here at tech. things just got rolling… and tech is one hell of an out of the way place… it takes an alum to love this school! and dammit, do we love this school!

            going to UM is too easy… however alluring because of the facilities, history, money, etc, etc – recruiting alone comes easier. and that’s not even asking what his wife thinks. ;)

            i would like to see us join a stronger conference or play better teams… that’s what i see lacking, some more opportunities.

            if tech joined the B1G, do you think mel would leave for UM? i don’t think so… anyway;

            dear mel pearson;

            please stay. please.

            thanks, kiko

            with that being said… here is hoping UM is making a move like wisco… three alums in muckalt, powers, and wiseman.

            muckalt’s youth and drive is totally comparable to pearson’s experience and age.

            let muckalt/power/wiseman prove themselves… they deserve a shot.

            and let mel pearson retire in houghton.

            here is hoping for the best.

            GO TECH GOLD!
            .

        • DrunkTrainPolka

          .
          yep… hoping it weighs in… ;)

          GO TECH GOLD!
          .

          • Roaring Aardvark

            The *one* thing I see weighing in Tech’s favor right now is Mel’s age. He’s 58 now, and U-M went for younger hires for FB (Harbaugh was 51 when hired, 53 now) and MBB (Beilein was 54 when hired, 64 now). Powers is 51, Wiseman 45 and Muckalt 42. Does U-M go for a younger hire/longer term outlook?

          • DrunkTrainPolka

            .
            and if muckalt is U-M’s choice; i would shoot myself if i were billy powers…
            .

  • Joe

    The AD position is named for a donor?? What have we come to?

    • Roaring Aardvark

      The football coach at U-M is too – going back at least to Brady Hoke’s tenure. Endowing a position is not unusual in academia. Not sure if that’s exactly what this is, or what it cost’s to buy/maintain one though…

    • JoeMal

      UM is running out of things for its mega donors to name, but they have a lot of mega donors with deep pockets.

      Doesn’t help that Stephen Ross has his name on multiple things there.

    • Chris

      Ted Donato is the Robert D. Ziff ’88 Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey.

  • Joe

    The AD position is named for a donor?? What have we come to?

    • Roaring Aardvark

      The football coach at U-M is too – going back at least to Brady Hoke’s tenure. Endowing a position is not unusual in academia. Not sure if that’s exactly what this is, or what it cost’s to buy/maintain one though…

    • JoeMal

      UM is running out of things for its mega donors to name, but they have a lot of mega donors with deep pockets.

      Doesn’t help that Stephen Ross has his name on multiple things there.

    • Chris

      Ted Donato is the Robert D. Ziff ’88 Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey.