Former Michigan coach Berenson named 2018 Legend of College Hockey recipient

Red Berenson (Michigan - Head Coach) - The Boston University Terriers defeated the visiting University of Michigan Wolverines 3-2 on Saturday, October 25, 2014, at Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. (Melissa Wade)
Red Berenson coached Michigan to a pair of national championships in his 34 years behind the Wolverines bench (photo: Melissa Wade).

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced Tuesday its 2018 Legend of College Hockey recipient as Red Berenson.

Berenson coached 33 seasons at Michigan, retiring following the 2016-17 season.

He took over a struggling Wolverine program in 1984 and his teams made the NCAA tournament 23 times in 27 years, including an NCAA record 22 consecutive years from 1991 to 2012. Playoff success included 11 trips to the Frozen Four championship, three trips to the national title game and NCAA championships in 1996 and 1998.

Overall, in 1366 games under Berenson’s guidance, Michigan went 848-426-92 (.655), ranking him fourth all-time in college hockey wins.

In the CCHA, Michigan finished first or second 20 times in 23 seasons from 1991 to 2013. Michigan captured 11 CCHA regular-season titles and nine CCHA playoff banners. In 2013-14, the Big Ten formed its inaugural men’s hockey conference and Berenson guided Michigan for the first four years in the new league before his retirement.

Berenson was recruited to play for the Wolverines and completed three highly-successful seasons (freshmen were not allowed to play in that era.) He was an All-American and team MVP his junior and senior seasons, leading the WCHA in scoring his senior season (1961-62) with 43 goals and 70 points, still Wolverine team records. Following his final college game, Berenson stepped right into the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first college player to ever do so.

From there, an illustrious NHL career spanned 17 seasons between Montreal, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, and he also coached with the Blues.

Now 78, Berenson has remained on as a special advisor to the director of athletics at Michigan.

Berenson will be honored along with this year’s Hobey Baker Award winner at the annual Hobey Baker Award banquet on Wednesday, May 23, in St. Paul, Minn.