Yost ice rink named after Red Berenson

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 8:10pm

Red Berenson was honored Thursday, as the University’s Board of Regents unanimously approved the proposal to name the rink after the legendary coach.

Red Berenson was honored Thursday, as the University’s Board of Regents unanimously approved the proposal to name the rink after the legendary coach. Buy this photo
File Photo/Daily

If Red Berenson’s name wasn’t already etched in the hallow halls of Yost Ice Arena years ago, his legacy will now forever be celebrated and cemented on the ice. 

The rink inside the arena is now “Red Berenson Rink,” honoring the legendary Michigan hockey coach of 33 years who retired at the end of last season. The University’s Board of Regents unanimously approved the rink naming Thursday afternoon at its monthly meeting.

“Red Berenson is a legend in the sport of ice hockey, a tremendous educator of young men and someone who has made a significant impact at the University of Michigan,” said athletic director Warde Manuel in a statement. “He has dedicated much of his adult life to develop hundreds of young men here at Michigan. This is an honor befitting his exceptional commitment to intercollegiate athletics and his championship success in the sport of hockey as both a player and a coach.”

The new ice design — featuring Berenson’s signature near both blue lines — will be unveiled before Friday night’s home opener against Vermont, with a formal rink dedication on Jan. 5 when Michigan hosts Notre Dame. Next season, the words “Yost Ice Arena” in the center ice circle will be replaced with “Red Berenson Rink.”

A lifelong Wolverine, Berenson arrived in Ann Arbor as a student-athlete from Regina, Saskatchewan. The Canadian played four years of hockey and was named All-American twice, the 1962 WCHA Most Valuable Player and a team captain his senior season. After graduation, Berenson played 17 years in the NHL as a member of the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens. With Montreal, Berenson won Stanley Cups in 1965 and 1966, while simultaneously earning a Master of Business Administration degree at Michigan.

After coaching in the NHL until 1984, Berenson returned to Ann Arbor as head coach and immediately revamped the hockey program into one of the most storied in the country. Under his leadership, Michigan captured 21 conference championships and made the NCAA Tournament in 23 of his last 27 seasons. From 1991 to 2012, the Wolverines received 22 straight tournament bids, a streak that still stands as an NCAA record. Berenson led Michigan to 11 Frozen Fours and two national championships in 1996 and 1998.

Berenson retired with the fourth-most wins in NCAA ice hockey history with an 848-426-92 career record. He also groomed two Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners, 73 NHL players and 140 Academic All-Big Ten selections.