Oftentimes (shamefully) overlooked when people look back at the great coaches this university has had, Red Berenson turns 71 today (HT: VB).
Coach has been a great proponent on players finishing their four years at Michigan not only for the team but for their own education. In honor of his birthday (and because he's apparently sick today), I solicit the community to read this excellent piece written by the Daily about Coach earlier this year.
Red truly embodies everything that makes this university great and I am insanely grateful that he continues to hawk the Michigan bench.
The coach stood before the Foxes, just as many other coaches had before him. Cleary and Mason glowed about Chris’s potential. “What can we do for you?,” they would ask.
But this coach, the same man who scored six goals in a game for the St. Louis Blues, the same man who won NHL Coach of the Year in 1981, the same man who had singlehandedly made Michigan relevant again, wasn’t the glowing type.
“So,” the coach said, turning to Chris Fox, “What can you do for Michigan?”
Fox was stunned.
For months, coaches catered to his needs, promised him playing time. What did he owe this man he had just met? Who was recruiting whom here?
The coach sensed his hesitation. He had a knack for that sort of thing, like this moment was all scripted beforehand, as if he was prepared for Fox’s apprehensive response. It was part of the game.
“If you want to be a Michigan Man, you should know in the next week,” the coach said to the recruit, who looked and felt much more like a kid than he did when he walked into the office just minutes before. “It will just become clear.”
Fox left bearing the weight of words he didn't quite understand. What was it about this coach that gave him license to give him an ultimatum? He wasn’t sure. Berenson’s aura had left him shaken, but even more curious.
So the Foxes made their way down the block to Yost Ice Arena that Friday to watch Michigan, in future Hobey Baker-winner Brendan Morrison’s debut, defeat Notre Dame in a rout, 13-0.
The steely glare. The ultimatum. The aura. It all seemed to make sense to the 17-year-old after the game.
Chris Fox marched up to Berenson’s office soon after the game ended that night and committed. He wanted to be a Michigan Man.