Warde did convince Red Berenson to stay

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on March 9th, 2017 at 12:31 AM

What was previously unconfirmed publicly was confirmed by The Daily this morning.


“He didn’t wanna go through hiring a coach — he hadn’t even moved into his house yet,” Berenson said. “And our team played well and I thought they were responding well, so the reasons to stay were those things.

“We’ll revisit all this at the end of the year, but I’m trying not to worry about it right now. It’s just a matter of when — whether it’s this year or next year.

Physically, the 77-year-old is content.

Mentally, though, things are a bit more complicated.

Berenson constantly thinks about the consequences of his decision and its implication for the Wolverines of the present and the future. As Michigan begins recruiting with athletes as young as sophomores in high school, the uncertainty of a program’s head coach could impact a recruit’s decision.

Michigan Hockey is 11-18-3, will miss the tournament for the 4th time in the last 5 years (unless a B1G Tournament miracle happens) after making it every year from 1991-2012. Also lost the season series against last place MSU for the first time in over a decade.

Last season's final game at Yost ended in a blowout win over a ranked PSU team with the arena chanting "Thank you Red". Michigan won the B1G Tournament the next week. 

If what Brian says is indeed right as he usually is with his sources, "hiring a coach" would've been a drive to the UP as opposed to a national tour. 



March 9th, 2017 at 12:37 AM ^

Well, gotta be honest with you. This doesnt inspire a lot of confidence in ol' Warde. So is he gonna make a potential great next head coach wait on hold while he mows his lawn?  (or goes sailing?)

San Diego Mick

March 9th, 2017 at 2:12 AM ^

"Hasn't moved into his house yet"? Big fucking deal, that's not an excuse to not be doing your job.

I'm not impressed with Warde at all and haven't been since early in his tenure, I keep hearing and reading a lot of weak excuses as to why this or that can't be done.

I sure wish Hackett was still the AD.

Good thing we secured Harbaugh as coach before Warde took over, who knows if he would have fucked that up too.


March 9th, 2017 at 5:35 AM ^

Let's be fair here.

The guy was in the process of moving himself and his family from Connecticut. At the same time, the hockey team wasn't in dire need of a new coach. The team was rolling along in 1st place in the B1G and we had 3 of the top 4 scorers in the nation.

Sure, we knew Red was reaching the end of his career. But let's not act like the program was in desperation mode. It was certainly a situation where (at the time) Warde could have spent his time adjusting to the move, meeting his staff, and planning the future without the stress of a coaching search for a program you know very little about.


March 9th, 2017 at 11:16 AM ^

And that one year we did make the tournament was last season. Where we also won a conference title. This year was going to be rough only AFTER we found out who all was leaving early.

Imagine this season if Motte came back for his Senior year.
If JT Compher came back for his Senior year.
If Kyle Conner came back for his Sophomore year.

Totally different team. And again. The results from last year warranted another year from Red. It was easier on Warde and ultimately better for the program for Red to come back for one more year.


March 9th, 2017 at 11:52 AM ^

First off, anybody who has some understanding of college hockey knew that there was no way Kyle Connor would be around for a second year.

Second, this team has not been legitimately good since Pearson left. Last year's team was a mediocre to bad team that lived off of one line and the powerplays that line saw in a conference where nobody was particularly good. The results from last year did not warrant Red coming back. If anything, it was the perfect time for Red to leave on something of an accomplishment. Now he's leaving the worst Michigan hockey team in decades.


March 9th, 2017 at 12:26 PM ^

I certainly didn't expect Connor to return. Although it's surprising he left just to spend the year in the minors.

That wasn't the point I was making. Just that when you recruit one and dones, and then unexpectedly lose a few guys you're in for a rough year. Once we saw who we were losing, yeah it looked gloom. A new coach wasn't going to fix that.

But when you go 25-8-5 and win your conference, yes, you are deserving of another year. Especially when you have a brand new AD and we aren't prepared for a national coaching search.


March 9th, 2017 at 9:26 AM ^

and a coaching search firm would have been approved if he needed more information. Our president, who is not a sports guy, found a replacement for the AD under high stress conditions.  An AD should be able to handle hiring a coach. If the next coach is Pearson, then it will look worse, since I'm guessing if we could get him this year, we could get him last year. 


March 9th, 2017 at 11:19 AM ^

Problem is, he didn't know "those people". You can't just take a job and make a big hire based on advice from people. That hire falls on Warde's head, not the people who gave him advice. I know Id certainly want to make that decision for myself based on my judgement, not on the opinions of others. Especially others that I don't know or trust enough yet.

matty blue

March 9th, 2017 at 9:16 AM ^

let's' all jump off the ledge.  

we're all experts on the day-to-day job of athletic director, after all, and we've read one item about warde manuel selling his house.  i'm sure that was literally the only thought / conversation that's ever occured in the department regarding the eventual transition to the next hockey coach.

that's all we need to know.  


March 9th, 2017 at 9:39 AM ^

He wants to hire the right coach and one that he can work with going forward.  It is more than hiring the coach with the best record or one the fans want.

It has become fashionable to bash Warde while providing no specific reason.  Can you tell us why you are not impressed with him? What has he done or not done publicly that has caused you to come to that conclusion?

He has not had to hire or fire a coach yet. So in that regard the jury is out.  However, he has provided strong support for Jim, has extended KBA's contract, has gotten the agreement to expand football's facilities, and major upgrades of other facilities are on the way as well.  What else do you want from someone who has been on the job for about 2 years? 



March 9th, 2017 at 12:56 AM ^

and I know he got the premium white glove service (obvioulsy) so I'm not sure why that would impact his ability to do a job he's being paid a lot of money to do.  Sad excuse.  Red kind of threw him under the bus here too.  Not a good look.

Wolverine Devotee

March 9th, 2017 at 12:59 AM ^

Not a good look would be doing this while the guy who he took over for came out of retirement to put out a huge fire 4 weeks on the job and then make the biggest blockbuster hire in college football history.

It's criminal that Red has to have this season on his record. It's knocked him down quite a bit in win percentage.


March 9th, 2017 at 7:33 AM ^

"Hadn't even moved into his house" was meant to be part of a larger theme...new house, new neighborhood, giant new job. Tons going on. Adding on the replacement of the 3rd highest profile coaching job on campus would have been an added pressure.

Red's slide over the past several years has been sad, and someone should have made the decision for him to step down, but we really only lost an additional year here. I don't think it's worth piling on Warde about.

Lastly, has Brian ever suggested Mel is currently (or recently) amenable to taking the M job?


March 9th, 2017 at 12:50 AM ^

saw this season coming from a mile away. 

Was anyone excited looking forward to this season?

Has this season been anything other than predictable for any of us around here? 


March 9th, 2017 at 2:08 AM ^

Red himself proved over and over that it's possible to replace an entire 1-2 lines of nhl draft talent in a single year. The problem is as it says, what 10th grader will commit to a 77 year old? A transition should've been announced if not immediately taken effect, like Pearson will join the following season. Of course, that'd be up to Tech as well

As it stands, the recruiting class for next year looks botched as well. I almost think Berenson should've gone past his boss who couldn't have cared less and negotiated with Mel and assured recruits he'll be here after another year, when the shitty AD has "settled down" Likely would not have salvaged this season but next year would be viable. But now i'm not sure Mel would even take the job and if not, looks like dark days ahead as i have 0 faith Manuel can conduct a national search to hire a hockey coach, or any other probably


March 9th, 2017 at 2:32 AM ^

I'm pretty confident that Mel left because he was told, at the time (the time being the tenure of DB) that he would not simply inherit Red's job when Red retired. He was not at all certain about the move to Tech, but wound up making it, and he's done decently there.

I think if Michigan wants him, they'll get him. I'm just not convinced that he's the direction that they'll go. Among other reasons, we know that Warde didn't want to do an extensive coaching search, and a search for Mel isn't difficult at all (the "moved into his house thing" wasn't referring to what Warde was spending his time doing, just how new he was on the job when he spoke with Red, FWIW).

So, at least at the time, I don't think Warde was sure that Mel was his guy. If he was, he probably just gets him then. Whether he just wanted more time to evaluate Mel among other options, or whether he considered the possibility of doing a national search for someone a bit younger with a higher ceiling, I don't know. 

Mel is performing at Tech in a way that would make him a rising star if he were 15 years younger, but he just turned 58. Now, he's proven that he's a good hockey coach--a huge part of Michigan's recent dropoff not coincidently occurred when he left, and making Tech competitive is no small feat--so I won't be disappointed if we hire him. But I wonder if Warde might try to turn up the money howitzer and try to get a guy like Nate Leaman from Providence or Jim Montgomery from Denver. I have no idea if these guys are interested, but if you point BTN money at them, that's got to make them think, right? 

Warde was at UConn, so he might have some connection out east. Leaman built a winner at Union, went to Providence (which was irrelevant for decades), built a consistent winner, and won a national championship. I'd enjoy seeing Warde go after him.


March 9th, 2017 at 2:02 AM ^

This and the rescheduling ND debacle with an canceling an SEC West opponent gave me suspicion that Manuel will never be up to the task. His failure to stand up for Harbaugh's comments on the incredibly biased refs is what sealed it, as he had been at the job several months

But it's true that Hackett proved more competent as soon as he took the job, so being new isn't really an excuse. "I need to settle down at home first" sounds like the Martin fishing trip fiasco - a multimillionaire who doesn't want to go the extra mile


March 9th, 2017 at 6:55 AM ^

I like having ND back on the schedule, but the haste and waste shown in doing it exposed a poor ordering of priorities or poor negotiation effectiveness - either case is not a good look. ND did not need to be added ASAP, nor did it justify giving up a home/home with Arkansas - and paying over $1M to do it. Unless JH demanded that it be done immediately and Warde did it to placate him, this was not a great arrangement.

Brian Griese

March 9th, 2017 at 7:34 AM ^

but my brother in law had dinner with Mason Cole's dad at a work conference a couple of months ago. Mr Cole reiterated what some people (including Brian) have speculated about Warde and Harbaugh: Warde, at least presently, stays the F away from anything pertaining to football. The groundwork for the current ND series was laid by Hackett and Harbaugh. I know we all love Harbaugh and don't want to criticize him, but it probably isn't fair to point the finger for football things we don't like at Warde (outside of his like ticket sales, etc.)


March 9th, 2017 at 7:57 AM ^

Oh i have criticized Harbaugh for that, believe me. It certainly reeks of him trying to relive his playing days, even though one or both teams have sucked every game since the mid 90s. I even asked if all the success on the field is worth it if just going to schedule the same mediocre teams over and over. I guess it will depend on if they keep Washington/UCLA/TX/OU. I think that scheduling those was about the only good DB did (or did Hackett schedule some? I forget)

But as the AD, Manuel too cannot escape reprobation for scheduling, which these days takes about as much negotiation as a peace treaty and clearly didn't end with Hackett's departure


March 9th, 2017 at 8:04 AM ^

Nice useless reductionist comment, but let me spell it out for you:

I'm not opposed to ND as long as there's at least 1 other major opponent each year. Playing them 10 years in a row no matter how awful is just boring. I'm definitely against announcing these rare matchups and backing out of it. I'm definitely against handing other teams $2 million and then whining to fans for more $ due to their shitty decision making. I'm definitely against backing out of such games when there's TWO open dates on the schedule. I'm against giving ND the first home game after they cancel the series having played an extra home game! I'm against the game in Ann Arbor being in mid October. I'm above all against canceling an SEC West team which is almost never scheduled and which will jeopardize our ability to do so in the future

Are you just totally ignorant to all of this like the casual ESPN viewer who doesn't have any affiliation with either school, and who this is being done for? Maybe they should make you AD instead, or better yet take Delayney's place since he has the same priorities

snarling wolverine

March 9th, 2017 at 8:47 AM ^

If scheduling ND is fine, does it really matter how they got on the schedule?

If you don't want to play ND, you are certainly entitled to that position.  But to be in favor of playing them but mad over the negotiations seems silly.  What difference does it make, really?



The Maizer

March 9th, 2017 at 10:32 AM ^

I am happy to have ND back on the schedule and am fine (though not thrilled) with what it took to do so. However, your argument is a silly one. Of course it matters what price you pay to have them back on the schedule. Would it make no difference if we had to play both games in South Bend? Pay ND all the money? Cancel all of our future out of conference opponents that are scheduled? The price was not that high in this case, but there was a price (monetary and cancelling Arkansas) and to say the price doesn't matter at all cannot be supported.

Year of Revenge II

March 9th, 2017 at 11:22 AM ^

Dr. Zoidburg:

Thank you for the time you took from your busy gynecology practice this morning to set some things straight that had been going awry without your input.

I had thought I was too busy, and made the mistaken assumption that a point-by-point response to your premises was so painfully obvious, and might tend to publicly embarass you, and because I felt like Rev. King's "reductionist" comment was discretion being the better part of valor, I declined to respond. But after you spelled it out for us, I figured, oh hell, I'm semi-retired, I got time…

Your Claim---Manuel is not up to the task of being a good UM AD

Your premise #1---you are not opposed to ND as long as there is at least 1 other major opponent each year.  Playing them 10 years in a row is boring to you.  

Counter-argument---Are you aware, good Doctor, that UM and ND are perhaps the two most storied programs in college football history, both now and in the past?  Are you aware that they are geographically proximate to each other, and have rabid fanbases who interact quite frequently in all walks of midwest life?  Are you aware that Manuel did not schedule them 10 years in a row?  You may be aware, but evidently not fully aware.  You might want to consider that YOU are not the entirety of Manuel's constituency at UM, and that you are in the minority with your "observations".

Your premise #2---You are against announcing these rare match-ups and backing out of it.  You are against giving $2 million to other teams and then whining to fans for more money because of their bad decision making.  

Counter-argument---Are you aware, good Doctor, that it was Dave Brandon, and not Manuel who announced this rare match-up with Arkansas, and not Manuel?  You might not of noticed, but it was Brandon who f'd up a lot of things around the AD, and finally he resigned before he was canned, and perhaps lynched by angry students and fans alike, and so this decision to put ND back on the schedule at the buyout picked by Brandon obviously was felt to be worth the money to UM.  The only decision made by Manuel was to resume the series, the rest were made by Pizza Boy.  And we don't see Manuel "whining" for more money.  UM's ticket pricing compared to other popular, storied, and big-time programs, say for example Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, or Southern California are a value.  And nothing was raised as the result of the resumption of ND, frankly.

Your premise #3---You are against a lot of the things about the schedule and how the resumpton of the ND series affected that.  

Counter-argument---Just because YOU are against things like giving them the first home game, having the game in October, and jeopardizing scheduling another SEC West team in the future does NOT mean that the decision was not in the best interests of UM, and UM football.  While I am certain the whole Department values your opinions, again, there is more that goes into their decision-making than its effect on the esteem in which you hold them and Manuel.  

In sum Doctor, before you anonymously call or imply that other good people, your fellow Michigan fans, are "ignorant", you would be well advised to consider looking inward first.


snarling wolverine

March 9th, 2017 at 9:16 AM ^

I don't care about the money (we run a profit), or playing Arkansas - the only thing about that game that interested me was playing Bielema again.

The schedule rotation thing I can see, but we've always played ND at home on odd years and away even years.  The real problem is MSU being off-schedule, which is bad for both schools.  Both have the game and OSU at home the same year.


March 9th, 2017 at 3:35 AM ^

Didn't Bo want Carr to stay on as long as he did even though Carr wanted to retire a year or 2 before? I don't remember anyone hating Bo for that...