Episode Summary

Red Berenson, former NHL and University of Michigan player and coach

At the ripe age of 18, Berenson had the courage to turn down the Montreal Canadiens’ offer and pursue college hockey. Four years later he proved Montreal’s general manager wrong when he became the first player to jump directly from college hockey to the NHL – and also the first to wear a helmet before suffering a serious injury. After a 17-year NHL career, Berenson earned the NHL’s Coach of the Year award – and was fired the next year. A few years later he took over the University of Michigan, and in his sixth year started a 22-year streak of NCAA tournaments. In this episode Berenson talks about how he overcame his lack of knowledge of modern college hockey by having a clear vision for the program he wanted to lead; how a leader can’t waffle when laying down his expectations, and enforcing them; and the importance of caring about your people, and making them feel their role is important.

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