DETROIT -- Ron Mason was there for the giant landscape change in NCAA hockey.
Mason’s 36-season college coaching career started at Lake Superior State University in 1966, and he said most of his players came from just over the border in Ontario. It was a similar situation when he went to Bowling Green State University in 1973.
“When I started coaching, I was in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and we had a few kids from the Soo, but most of them were from across the road in Ontario,” Mason said. “When I went to Bowling Green, we were mostly Canadians."
Mason said the big change began during his tenure at Michigan State University, where he coached from 1979 until he retired in 2002.
“When I came into Michigan State and inherited the team, maybe 25 percent were American kids,” he said. “And when I left 75 percent were American kids. Just completely swung around.”