Red Berenson Signs Three-Year Extension

Awesome news out of the athletic department today, as hockey coach Red Berenson has agreed to a three-year extension that will keep him as Michigan’s coach through the 2012-13 season. This breaks a long trend of Berenson signing rolling one-year agreements, which left open the possibility of retirement after each season. Count this as another big win for new athletic director Dave Brandon — locking up Berenson for three years adds even more stability to Michigan’s program and puts to bed any talk of retirement for a few years. Here’s the official athletic department press release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan ice hockey head coach Gordon “Red” Berenson has accepted a three-year contract offer from athletic director Dave Brandon to direct the U-M program through the 2012-13 season. Berenson, who played for Michigan from 1960-62, has been the head coach at his alma mater for the past 26 seasons.

“We’ve been doing a one-year contract of late and it seems like we’re spending a lot of time talking about when I’m going to retire,” Berenson said. “I think we can put that to bed for awhile and just focus on what we’re doing. The situation at Michigan is a little clearer in terms of recruitment or leadership of the program or what my future is. It’s pretty simple. I’ve thought about it a lot. I definitely was thinking about leaving earlier, but my passion has really been with this team and these players. They’re making a commitment to the program and I want my commitment to be clear as well.”

“I feel that this is a hugely important announcement for our ice hockey program and the athletic department,” Brandon said. “There aren’t a lot of Red Berensons in the world past, present or future. To have the ability to keep him and continue to contribute to his great work on behalf of Michigan ice hockey is an incredibly positive thing. We’re excited and I know he’s excited.”

Berenson also announced the Wolverines’ schedule for the upcoming 2010-11 season, which is highlighted by “The Big Chill at the Big House presented by Arby’s” that will be played on Dec. 11 at Michigan Stadium. [ 2010-11 Schedule ]

Berenson has led U-M to an NCAA-record 20 consecutive national tournament appearances, earning national titles in 1996 and 1998. His career winning percentage of .669 (670-328-69) is second in the country among active coaches. He has averaged more than 26 wins per season, reaching the 30-win plateau on 11 occasions. Berenson’s 699 victories rank sixth on the collegiate hockey all-time wins list; he is 45 wins from assuming sole possession of fifth place.

U-M has collected 10 Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championships and nine CCHA Tournament titles with Berenson at the helm, all within the last 19 completed seasons. In 1994, he was the CCHA Coach of the Year and in 2008 earned CCHA and National Coach of the Year recognition.

For his outstanding service to hockey in the United States, the National Hockey League honored Berenson with the Lester Patrick Award in the fall of 2006.

During his collegiate career, Berenson was a captain (1962) and two-time All-American (1961, 1962). He holds a bachelor’s degree (1962) and a master’s degree (1966) in business administration from U-M.

Berenson played 17 seasons (1962-78) in the NHL, donning the jerseys of the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings. After serving as an assistant coach for St. Louis for one and a half seasons, he took over the Blues’ head coaching duties for three seasons (1980-82), earning NHL Coach of the Year honors in 1981.

Berenson is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan. He and his wife, Joy, have four children.

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