NCAA Hockey: Michigan's Red Berenson returning for 33rd season
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan ice hockey head coach Red Berenson announced Sunday at the Dekers Blue Line Club banquet that he will return for his 33rd season behind the bench at Michigan.
"I'm excited about the direction of the program and the challenge of working with our student-athletes to improve on a daily basis and achieve our goal of winning championships," Berenson said. "This season has been inspiring for our team, our staff and the fans. Our success has been the motivation to return to help the program take another step forward. I feel fortunate to be at Michigan and appreciate the support from our new athletic director."
"I look forward to Red continuing as our coach because of his leadership and commitment to academic and athletic excellence as well as his commitment to the University of Michigan," said Donald R. Shepherd Director of AthleticsWarde Manuel. "These are core principles that we stick by, and they have guided Coach Berenson's distinguished tenure at Michigan."
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. U-M finished the season at 25-8-5 (12-5-3-2 Big Ten), as the Wolverines clinched the program's first Big Ten Tournament title with a 5-3 win over Minnesota on March 19. In the NCAA Tournament, Michigan earned a 3-2 (OT) win over Notre Dame before falling to North Dakota in the Midwest Regional final. For the 21st time in Berenson's career, Michigan reached the 25-win mark, as the Wolverines had their highest winning percentage (.724) since the 2007-08 campaign. Michigan was led by an offense that was historically good this season, as the Wolverines led the nation in scoring with an average of 4.76 goals per game, the highest scoring mark by a Michigan team since the 1996-97 campaign.
Michigan is 835-407-89 (.661) in the Berenson era, including the 1996 and 1998 NCAA national championships -- the eighth and ninth in school history. His accomplishments behind the bench at Michigan put him among the greatest coaches in college hockey history. When he took over a struggling program in 1984, his goal was to return Michigan to its glorious success of the 1950s. Introduced by then-athletic director Don Canham on May 17, 1984, in the M Club Room at the University of Michigan Golf Course, a 44-year old Berenson first hoped to restore the image of the hockey team.
"I'd like to improve the image of the Michigan hockey team on campus and with the alumni," Berenson said at his opening press conference. "I think that now people will be thinking more highly about the program."
Berenson has more than banked on his promise, building Michigan into a powerhouse that has spanned over three decades. Under Berenson, the Wolverines have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 23 of the past 26 seasons. His run of 22 consecutive appearances from 1991-2012 marks the longest streak ever in college hockey. In that time, Michigan reached the NCAA Frozen Four 11 times: back-to-back appearances in 1992 and 1993; four consecutive appearances in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998; three consecutive showings between 2001-03, 2008 and 2011. Besides 1996 and 1998, U-M also reached the national title game in 2011, losing 3-2 in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth.
A three-year varsity letterwinner, Berenson is one of the top players in Michigan Hockey history, earning All-America and Michigan Most Valuable Player honors in both his junior and senior seasons (1961, '62). His 43 goals and nine hat tricks in his last season still stand as Michigan records. Berenson holds two degrees from the University of Michigan, his bachelor's degree from the School of Business Administration in 1962 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 1966.
Berenson played in the NHL for 17 years as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. He accumulated 261 goals and 397 assists in 987 games -- the most by any Michigan alumnus in the NHL -- leaving an indelible mark on league history. Following his retirement as a player after the 1977-78 season, he served on the coaching staff of the St. Louis Blues, earning the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year in 1981. Following two seasons as an assistant coach on Scotty Bowman's staff with the Buffalo Sabres, Berenson returned to Ann Arbor, a place he has called home ever since. Berenson remains one of the strongest advocates for the University of Michigan and college hockey.