Berenson Signs On for 3 More Seasons
CHN Staff Report
ANN ARBOR, Mich. The University of Michigan, and its coach Red Berenson, puts to rest any issue of Berenson's imminent retirement, announcing that they have reached agreement on a three-year contract that will run through the 2012-13 season.
Berenson, who turned 70 last December, has coached at his alma mater for 26 seasons, winning national championships in 1996 and 1998. This past season, Michigan squeaked into the NCAAs — keeping alive a streak of 20 straight appearances — and then lost in double OT in the NCAA Regional championship to Miami.
"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."
Berenson played for Michigan from 1960-62, before embarking on a 17-year NHL career. He started coaching with the St. Louis Blues of the NHL, and was NHL Coach of the Year in 1981. Since coming to Michigan, he was CCHA Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2008.
Berenson stands at 699 career wins, all at Michigan, and his winning percentage is second among active coaches.
"He still has the drive and the energy like he's a 20-year-old," junior forward Carl Hagelin told Ann Arbor.com during this past season. "He could still play on this team. I don't see him as a 70-year old and I don't think he sees himself as a 70-year old.
"The only time he seems 70 is when you (hear about) all the life experiences he has and with everything he teaches us."
Berenson also announced the Wolverines' schedule for the upcoming 2010-11 season, which is highlighted by "The Big Chill at the Big House" that will be played on Dec. 11 at Michigan Stadium against rival Michigan State. Over 100,000 tickets have already been sold for the game, which would shatter hockey's all-time single-game record.
Michigan has collected 10 CCHA 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, while in 2008 he 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.
Berenson is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan. He and his wife, Joy, have four children.