By @MichaelCaples –
The University of Michigan has made it official – Mel Pearson is the school’s next hockey coach.
Pearson, an assistant coach for Red Berenson for 23 years, will now be the man tasked with following in the iconic head coach’s footsteps after Berenson retired earlier this month.
“I am very honored and proud for this opportunity to be the next head coach at Michigan,” said Pearson. “I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the rich and successful tradition of Michigan hockey.
“I would like to thank President Schlissel, Warde Manuel and my long-time mentor and friend Red Berenson for entrusting me with this opportunity,” added Pearson. “I spent 23 years here and thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ann Arbor. I am excited to be back and am looking forward to meeting the team and getting ready for next season.
“Lastly, I would like to thank the former players, alumni and fans that have reached out to me with encouragement,” concluded Pearson.
In the release, Berenson, who has remained at UM as an advisor, said he certainly happy with the choice.
“I think Mel is a great fit for Michigan hockey,” Berenson said. “He knows the program well from his time here, and I think he is exactly what Michigan hockey needs to be successful.”
Pearson will leave his alma mater to return to Ann Arbor; he guided the Michigan Tech Huskies back to national prominence during his six seasons behind the bench in Houghton. He led MTU to NCAA Tournament appearances in two of the last three seasons.
“I am thrilled to select Mel to lead our hockey program and for him to return home to U-M following tremendous success in leading the Michigan Tech program,” said Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel in a release. “I’ve known Mel for years and experienced his leadership ability when I was the sport administrator for hockey and he was an assistant under Red (Berenson). Mel’s qualifications are well known throughout the hockey community and reach far beyond his ability to coach. Simply put, I couldn’t have selected a finer person to lead our ice hockey program into the future.”