University of Maine men’s ice hockey head coach Red Gendron experienced a medical condition Friday afternoon and passed away. He was 63.
“College hockey lost an absolute giant in the game today,” said Hockey East commissioner Steve Metcalf. “Red was a coach, mentor, colleague and friend to so many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his team.”
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by Red’s sudden death,” said UMaine president Joan Ferrini-Mundy. “He was a force in UMaine Athletics and in the legacy of our men’s ice hockey program. We mourn his passing and remember his many contributions to the generations of players he mentored and to the program that lit up Black Bear Nation and the state of Maine. Our thoughts are with his wife, Janet, daughters Katelyn and Allison, his coaching staff and players. They have our support and respect for their privacy during this difficult time.”
“Words cannot express our deep sadness from the tragic, sudden loss of Red Gendron,” said UMaine director of athletics Ken Ralph. “Our community and the entire UMaine Athletics family mourn the loss of Coach Gendron and we ask you all to keep him, his family, his friends and our hockey staff and student-athletes in your thoughts through this agonizing time.”
Gendron’s previous stint at UMaine began in the fall of 1990 and was named University of Maine head men’s ice hockey coach on May 28, 2013.
He guided eight USA Hockey teams, including the U.S. National Junior Team on three occasions. USA Hockey uses Gendron’s book, “Coaching Hockey Successfully,” as the advanced-level manual for its coaching education program. At Bellows Free Academy in Vermont, he guided squads to four state championships in the 1980s.
Gendron spent 11 seasons in professional hockey with the New Jersey Devils organization. Gendron earned three NHL championship rings as a coach and has twice had his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. He was an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils when they captured the Stanley Cup in 1995, and was an assistant and head coach, respectively, with their AHL team in Albany when the Devils won the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003.
Before being named the head coach of the Black Bears, Gendron was associate head coach at Yale University; the Bulldogs won the 2013 NCAA Division 1 National Championship. Prior to Gendron’s two seasons at Yale, from 2005-11, he was an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts.