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Longtime Michigan coach Red Berenson retires after 33 seasons

2008 Men's Frozen Four Championship Day 1

DENVER - APRIL 09: Head coach Red Berenson of the Michigan Wolverines directs practice for the 2008 Men’s Frozen Four Championship at the Pepsi Center on April 9, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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After 33 years behind the bench for the University of Michigan hockey team, Red Berenson announced on Monday that he is retiring from coaching.

The school announced that he will remain as a special advisor to Warde Manuel, the director of athletics.

“I’ve thought about this for a long time and I think this is the right time and it’s the right thing to do for the Michigan hockey program,” said Berenson in a statement released through the school. “My heart will always be at Michigan and I look forward to the team taking the next step and making me proud as a former coach.”

Said Manuel in the same statement, “Red Berenson is a legendary figure at the University of Michigan as well as in our ice hockey history. Throughout his career, Red has focused on the academic and athletic success of the young men who have come through our program while shaping the sport as we know it today. He has developed an astounding 73 NHL players but, more importantly, he has positively impacted hundreds of young men. We are forever grateful for his contributions to the University of Michigan and I look forward to continuing working with Red for years to come.”

Berenson played his collegiate hockey at Michigan before embarking on an NHL career that ran between 1961 and 1978. He played in 987 games as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, scoring 261 goals and recording 397 assists.

Following his playing days he joined the Blues’ coaching staff in 1979 and was the team’s head coach for parts of three seasons, winning the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year in 1980-81, leading the Blues to a 45-18-7 record.

In 1984 he returned to his alma mater and to take over as the Wolverines’ head coach and over the ensuing three decades built the program into a national power. During his time behind the Michigan bench the program compiled a 848-426-92 and won two national championships in 1996 and 1998. Along with the two national titles Berenson led the Wolverines to 11 Frozen Four appearances and an NCAA record 22 consecutive tournament appearances between 1991 and 2012.