After 32 years on the job, Red Berenson still remains the constant force in Michigan's hockey program.
Fresh off a Big Ten Tournament Championship and a deep NCAA Regional Final run, U-M’s hockey program is competing at a level of “excellence” that has Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel asking for more years from his hall-of-fame coach.
“He is in less than handful of coaches in college hockey who have performed at a level of excellence,” Manuel said of Berenson, who is coming off a 25-8-5 season. “People have the tendency to remember the most recent times, the most recent years, but Red is still a driving success. Looking at what we did this year, getting to the NCAA’s (and) winning the Big Ten hockey (tournament).”
Berenson’s 835 wins rank fourth all-time in college hockey history. He has won two national championships in 1996 and 1998. He’s been to 11 Frozen Fours. He’s also is the reigning 2016 Big Ten coach of the year.
So he knows a thing or two about winning. And a big part of that is getting the right players’ into his program, Manuel says.
“People can’t say ‘he’s fallen off in recruiting. He can’t develop. He’s not doing the things that make our program better.’ Red is energetic. He’s passionate. He is a brilliant mind. He loves these kids. He prepares them for hitting the ice. He prepares them to do go onto campus and do well academically. He prepares them for life,” said Manuel.
Manuel admits he hasn’t had a conversation with Berenson regarding his future plans of the program, but is hopeful he stays at Michigan as long as possible.
“And (all) I want is great coaches like Red around here,” Manuel said. “I’ll make sure we have the conversation. But there is nobody who is concerned about Michigan hockey then Red Berenson. I’m very pleased and super happy in many respects that he has decided to continue coaching.
“I hope he coaches here as many years as he would like to and continue to drive the success he’s already had.”