Red Berenson is stepping down at Michigan after 33 years behind the bench.
After 33 seasons at the University of Michigan, St. Louis Blues legend Red Berenson is calling it quits as the Wolverines’ head coach. Berenson, who has arguably become the most respected coach in the history of college hockey, announced his retirement on Monday afternoon.
Berenson went 848-426-92 while coaching Wolverines from 1984-2017, and he won national championships in 1996 and 1998. A University of Michigan alum, Berenson saved a hockey program that was in jeopardy of being eliminated before he took over, and he’s now turned in into one of the most highly-regarded programs in the country.
In addition to holding a press conference on Monday afternoon, Berenson released a statement through the university explaining that he felt this was the right time to step away from the job.
Berenson, who turned 77 years old in December, was a member of the original Blues squad, coming over from the New York Rangers via trade in November 1967. He played in St. Louis from 1967-71, then again from 1974-78. During his time with the Blues, he played in 519 games, scoring 172 goals while collecting 240 assists. He was the second captain in franchise history, serving in the role (as part of a five-man rotation) during the 1970-71 season, then again in 1977-78.
Following his playing career, he joined the Blues’ coaching staff, becoming the head coach during the middle of the 1979-80 season. He led the team to two playoff appearances in his first two seasons, winning the Jack Adams Award as the league’s best coach in ’80-’81. After coaching the Blues to a 28-34-6 record in ’81-’82, however, he was fired, paving the way for him to take the Michigan job two years later.
While Berenson will remain affiliated with the Michigan athletic department in some capacity, his retirement should free up his schedule quite a bit and allow him to attend important Blues events if he so desires. He’s missed out on quite a few Blues alumni events over his long coaching tenure due to his responsibilities with the Wolverines.