Michigan hires Michigan Tech's Pearson as new hockey coach

Michigan is replacing Red Berenson with a longtime assistant.

The Wolverines hired Mel Pearson as their new hockey coach, bringing him back to Ann Arbor after six seasons as Michigan Tech's coach. Before taking that job, Pearson was an assistant at Michigan from 1988-2011.

Pearson replaces Berenson, who retired earlier this month after more than three decades as Michigan's coach.

"I am very honored and proud for this opportunity to be the next head coach at Michigan," Pearson said in a statement Monday. "I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the rich and successful tradition of Michigan hockey."

Pearson went 118-92-29 at Michigan Tech, including a 75-34-14 mark over the past three seasons.

"I think Mel is a great fit for Michigan hockey," said Berenson, who is now an adviser to athletic director Warde Manuel. "He knows the program well from his time here, and I think he is exactly what Michigan hockey needs to be successful."

Berenson led the Wolverines to national titles in 1996 and 1998, but Michigan is not coming off a good season. The Wolverines went 13-19-3 in 2016-17.

Pearson will try to help Michigan regain its status as one of the nation's elite teams.

"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," Manuel said.

"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."