We will be paying tribute to legendary MSU hockey coach, Ron Mason, today on The Drive. Mason, who brought college hockey into the modern era and led the Spartans to the national championship in 1986, passed away early this morning at the age of 76. The following info and video comes from his college hockey hall of fame induction video from 2013.
Ron Mason won 924 men’s college hockey games over a 36-season head-coaching career at Lake Superior State University (1966-73), Bowling Green State University (1973-79) and Michigan State University (1979-2002). His win total ranks second in college hockey annals, while his winning percentage (.696, 924-380-83) is among the top 10 in the sport. He led LSSU to the NAIA national championship in 1972 and MSU to the NCAA national title in 1986. Mason guided 22 of his teams (BGSU-1977-79, MSU-1982-90, 1992, 1994-2002) to the NCAA Tournament, tied for second-best all-time. On two occasions he led the Spartans to streaks of nine consecutive NCAA Tournament showings (1982-90, 1994-2002). He was an architect of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in 1972 and went on to capture 10 CCHA regular season championships (BGSU-1976, 1978-79; MSU-1985-86, 1989- 90, 1998-99, 2001) and 13 CCHA postseason crowns (BGSU-1977-79, MSU-1982-85, 1987, 1989-90, 1998, 2000, 2001). The American Hockey Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 1992, Mason was the CCHA Coach of the Year seven times (1976, 1978-79, 1985, 1989-90, 1999). Among the thousands of players Mason mentored were a pair of Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners (Kip Miller, Ryan Miller), 35 All-Americans and more than 50 future NHL players. Mason, who served on both the NCAA Ice Hockey Committee and NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee during his storied career, served as MSU’s director of athletics from 2002-07 following his coaching career. Mason is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the Michigan State, Lake Superior State and St. Lawrence Sports Halls of Fame.