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Berenson Making Legendary Career at Michigan

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

Red Berenson gives Ken Hitchcock a tour of the University of Michigan's hockey facility.
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Photos: Practice at Yost Arena

ANN ARBOR - Red Berenson tells his players at the University of Michigan not to live in the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reflect upon it.

Berenson, who once scored six goals in one game for the St. Louis Blues, is entering his 32nd season with the Wolverines. He has led Michigan to 11 Frozen Four appearances, two NCAA championships and became the fourth college hockey coach to record 800 career victories.

“You know you’re going to have to walk away sooner or later, but I never expected I’d be coaching at this age,” said Berenson, who is now 75. “I couldn’t have done it without our staff. I’ve had really good people work with me, and we’ve had a lot of stability here.

“I’ve always believed in education, and I’ve always believed there’s life after hockey,” he added. “I want these kids to live their dream as hockey players but I want them to have something to fall back on.”

Berenson’s coaching career began with the Blues in the 1979-80 season. In three seasons behind the bench, Berenson earned a 100-72-32 record and captured the Jack Adams Award as the NHL Coach of the Year in 1981.

As a player, he recorded 261 goals and 397 assists (658 points) in 987 career NHL games. He also made six NHL All-Star appearances and represented Canada at the Summit Series in 1972.

But perhaps his most memorable moment as a Blue came on Nov. 7, 1968 when he scored six goals in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, marking the first time since 1944 that a player scored six goals in a single game.

“I’ve lived it, whether it’s good or bad,” Berenson said of his accomplishments. “I’m the kind of guy that when a player is playing well, I say ‘I know you’re playing well, but you can play better.’ I think I could do better if I did it over again.”

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