You have to go all the way back to the 1983-84 hockey season for the last time Michigan hockey was coached by someone not named Red Berenson. The longtime legendary Wolverines head coach retired earlier this month after 33 seasons at the helm, so come next fall, there will be a new face behind the bench.
And early reports are saying that Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson is slated to be the heir apparent to Berenson in Ann Arbor.
Sources tell me Mel Pearson is the new Head Coach of @umichhockey. He succeeds Red Berenson. pic.twitter.com/U09KBnjS8F
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) April 23, 2017
Report: Mel Pearson set to become the new head coach of the Michigan Wolverines.
| https://t.co/wKF3IiWxlP pic.twitter.com/VIvpQvXDBA
— MiHockey (@MiHockeyNow) April 23, 2017
Pearson, a Michigan Tech alum, has been the head coach for the Huskies over the last six seasons. He led Tech to a 75-34-14 record with two NCAA Tournament appearances over the last three seasons, after compiling just a 43-58-15 record in his first three full years behind the bench.
Pearson and the Huskies won the WCHA conference tournament to punch their ticket to this year’s dance, losing to eventual national champion Denver in the first round. Their tournament showing in 2015 was the first one for the program since 1981.
The student succeeds the teacher as Pearson, a former assistant of 23 years for Berenson at Michigan, will take over a Wolverines program that finished this past season at 13-19-3 and has one tournament appearance (2015-16) over the previous five seasons.
NEW FACES IN MICHIGAN
The reported hiring of Pearson at Michigan makes it three new head coaches amongst the seven Division I hockey programs in the state of Michigan.
Earlier this month, Michigan State hired Danton Cole, a former Spartan alum and most recently the head coach of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program in Plymouth, MI since 2013. He replaced another former Spartan in Tom Anastos, who stepped down in late March after six seasons.
Then back in early March, it was Northern Michigan relieving Walt Kyle of his head coaching duties after 15 seasons, following a 13-22-4 record this past season and leading the Wildcats to just one tournament appearance during his tenure. He has since then been replaced by Grant Potulny, who was serving as an assistant at the University of Minnesota for the past eight seasons.
That now leaves a head coaching vacancy at Michigan Tech to be filled. Will we be seeing a promotion for one of Pearson’s assistants, or an outside hire?