Red Berenson announces his retirement

Photo by Andrew Knapik/MiHockey


By @MichaelCaples –

The Red Berenson era has come to an end in Ann Arbor.

And boy, what an era it was.

The legendary University of Michigan head coach announced his retirement today, after guiding his alma mater for the past 33 seasons.

“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,” said Berenson in a release. “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.”

MORE: Berenson: “…I think we’re doing the right thing”

He built the Wolverines’ hockey program into an elite NCAA program, taking over in Ann Arbor at age 44 and compiling more than 800 victories since.

Berenson, 77, led Michigan to a string of 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1991-2012, and 23 total. The Wolverines have reached the Frozen Four 11 times under Berenson’s guidance, the national title game three times, and they emerged victorious in two of those occasions (1996 and 1998).

“Red Berenson is a legendary figure at the University of Michigan as well as in our ice hockey history,” said University of Michigan athletic director 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. He has developed an astounding 73 NHL players but, more importantly, he has positively impacted hundreds of young men. We are forever grateful for his contributions to the University of Michigan and I look forward to continuing working with Red for years to come.”

Berenson also played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1970-74 before being dealt to the St. Louis Blues. He later went on to become head coach of St. Louis – winning the Jack Adams Award in 1981 – before returning to his alma mater.

Berenson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 after leading the Wolverines to a 25-8-5 record, Big Ten title and NCAA tournament appearance. He finishes his collegiate coaching career with 848 wins, good for fourth in NCAA history behind Jerry York, Ron Mason and Jack Parker.

“I’d like to improve the image of the Michigan hockey team on campus and with the alumni,” Berenson said at his first press conference as head coach of the Wolverines. “I think that now people will be thinking more highly about the program.”

Mission certainly accomplished, Red. Thanks for all you’ve done for hockey.