Red Berenson received a well-deserved honor Thursday when it was announced that Michigan was naming the rink inside Yost Arena in his honor.
It will now be called “Red Berenson Rink.”
Berenson retired after last season, guiding the Wolverines to a pair of national championships (1996, 1998) and a record 22 straight NCAA tournament appearances during his 33 years as Michigan’s head hockey coach, leaving with an impressive record of 848-429-92.
Berenson also led the Wolverines to the Big Ten tournament championship in 2016.
“I’m proud of it, obviously, and really surprised, so it was kept a good secret and (athletic director) Warde Manuel took me up to Flint and we just went through the proclamation and the whole process with the regents,” Berenson told The Detroit News while on the return trip to Ann Arbor on Thursday.
The UM Regents held their monthly meeting Thursday in Flint. The Regents unanimously approved the rink naming in Berenson’s honor.
“It’s just starting to sink in, but it’s great tribute and I’m looking forward to it,” Berenson added.
The Wolverines will play host to Vermont in their home opener Friday with Mel Pearson making his debut as Michigan head coach. Michigan opened the season with a 3-1 win at St. Lawrence Oct. 6 before suffering a 3-0 loss at Clarkston the following night.
Pearson was an assistant or associate coach at Michigan for 23 years under Berenson before moving on as head coach at Michigan Tech, where he guided the Huskies to two NCAA tournament appearances in the last three years.
“I’m really looking forward to Mel’s career at Michigan,” Berenson said. “I think it was a great choice. He has a great staff and he’s going to have a good team. I’m going to try to get to most home games. I’m looking forward to it. Mel knows what he’s doing and I’ll be a big fan.
“Mel’s got some good recruits coming in and he’s got a good senior class. I think he’s got some really good depth on defense, the goalies are more experienced, and I think our team grew from last year. And with the incoming freshmen, particularly (forward Josh) Norris and (defenseman Quinn) Hughes, he’s got some good young talent.”
Michigan will play Vermont in the series finale at Yost Saturday at 5 p.m.
Berenson is the No. 4 all-time winningest NCAA hockey coach (848-426-92, .654. He developed two Hobey Baker Award winners (Brendan Morrison in 1997, Kevin Porter in 2008), 140 Academic All-Big Ten selections and five Big Ten Distinguished Scholars.