Legendary Michigan State hockey coach Ron Mason dies at the age of 76

Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 11:59:12-04

Legendary Michigan State hockey coach Ron Mason has died, according to the university. He was 76.

Mason spent 36 years behind the bench in college hockey, including 23 years at Michigan State from 1979-2002. During his time at MSU, he was 635-270-69 and led the Spartans to an NCAA Championship at 1986. Mason is the second-winningest coach in college hockey history.

“I first met Ron when I was a student here in the early 80s,” MSU Director of Athletics Mark Hollis said. in a release “I admired him as a coach and leader at that time and developed great respect for his commitment to success and student-athletes. Having the opportunity to work for Ron in my transition to the athletics director’s chair was invaluable. He was a great person and a great friend.”

After retiring from coaching, Mason became the MSU Director of Athletics from 2002 until 2007, where the university captured 11 conference championships and one national championship.

In 2013, he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

"It's definitely something special. You dream about winning the lottery, but not something like this," said Mason at the time. "If you've put a lot of years in, like I did as a player, coach or athletics director, it's nice to be rewarded at the end of it. It tells you that you did some things right, you worked hard and you loved your profession.