Former Michigan, Michigan Tech coach Al Renfrew passes away at age 89

Al Renfrew (Photo from
Al Renfrew (Photo from

By @MichaelCaples –

Al Renfrew, a NCAA coach in the state of Michigan for more than three decades, passed away on Monday.

The former Michigan and Michigan Tech coach, who also played for the Wolverines, was 89.

Renfrew skated for Michigan from 1946-49, accumulating 172 points in the process. He was a member of the Wolverines’ 1948 national title team.

He served as head coach of the Michigan Tech from 1951-56, leading the Huskies to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in the 1955-56 season.

“Al is one of the greatest men I ever met,” Michigan Tech coach and former Michigan assistant coach Mel Pearson said. “You don’t find people better than Al Renfrew, and he will be sorely missed by a lot of people.”

After a one-year stint with North Dakota, Renfrew returned to his alma mater, and coached the Michigan Wolverines from 1957-73. He led Michigan to a national title in 1964, and an overall record of 223-206-11 in 16 seasons.

“Al was one of the main reasons I came back as a coach,” Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. “He and Don Canham talked to me about coming back to Michigan in 1984 and part of the reason I came back was the experience he had given me as a player. He was a mentor when I first started here. Al was always a friend and I always felt that any time we needed to talk about hockey or anything else he was there for you. He meant a lot to Michigan hockey as a player and a coach, and he was a big part of the athletic department, along with his wife Marjorie, for years until he retired. He was a great friend of Michigan and a great friend of the Michigan hockey program.”