Gordon “Red” Berenson
Years Played: 1960, 1961, 1962
All-American: 1961 and 1962
Years Coached: 1985-2017
NCAA Championships: 1996 and 1998
Red Berenson played for the Regina Pats Junior hockey team, the Bellville MacFarlands (Canada’s National Team 1958-1959), and the Flin Flon Bombers before entering Michigan. One of the finest hockey players ever to play for Michigan, he won acclaim from fans, opponents, and coaches throughout the United States. During his time at Michigan, he was an All-American and team most Valuable Player, team high scorer, and First Team All-Star in both the 1960-1961 and 1961-1962 seasons. He was also the WCHA Most Valuable Player during the 1961-1962 season.
Red Berenson played two years as a center and left wing. In 1960-1961, he scored twenty-four goals and twenty-four assists for forty-eight points. In 1961-1962, he scored forty-three goals and twenty-seven assists for seventy points. The forty-three goals and seventy points are both Michigan records. On the ice, he enjoyed many thrills, but he says that his most memorable experience at Michigan was his association with Al Renfrew, the finest man he ever played hockey for. His most important goal was the record breaking goal for the most goals in a season in the 1961-1962 season. Nicknamed “Red”, he was captain during the 1961-1962 and led the team to a third place finish in the NCAA playoffs. He left Michigan immediately at the end of the season and was signed by the Montreal Canadiens organization for the rest of the season. His first NHL goal was a record breaking one for the Montreal Canadiens in a season, scored against the Detroit Red Wings. He played for the Montreal Canadiens from graduation until he was traded to the New York Rangers in 1966. In the summers of 1965 and 1966, he obtained his Master’s degree from the School of Business Administration at Michigan. In addition to the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, Red Berenson also played for the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues.
After retiring from playing professional hockey in 1978, he entered coaching, becoming the head coach of the St. Louis Blues during the 1979-1980 season. During his time as coach of St. Louis, he received the Jack Adams Award, presented to the National Hockey League’s Coach of the Year. In 1984, he returned to the University of Michigan to become Michigan’s head coach. He led his teams to National Championships in 1996 and 1998. In 2015, Red Berenson won his 800th game as a Division I college head coach. He is married to Joy Berenson and they have four children. Red Berenson retired in 2017.
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