University of Maine men’s hockey coach Dennis ‘Red’ Gendron died on Friday, the university said in a statement.
Gendron, who just completed his eighth season as head coach, experienced a medical condition while on the golf course Friday afternoon, according to Bangor TV station WABI. He was 63.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by Red’s sudden death,” said Maine 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.”
Gendron had been the head coach at Maine since 2013 after working as an assistant at UMass (2005-2011) and associate head coach at Yale (2011-2013).
Born in Boston, Gendron played college hockey at New England College, where he was a three-year captain. He began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Maine in 1990 before spending 11 years as an assistant coach and scout for the New Jersey Devils.
Gendron was on the coaching staff of two NCAA championship teams – Maine (1993) and Yale (2013) – and was a member of the Devils organization for three Stanley Cup runs (1995, 2000, 2003).
“Words cannot express our deep sadness from the tragic, sudden loss of Red Gendron,” said Maine athletic director Ken Ralph.
UMass coach Greg Carvel, whose team will play St. Cloud State in Saturday’s NCAA championship, said Gendron was a close friend and had a “big, loving personality.”
“Red, he’s a name well-known within the UMass program,” said Carvel. “A beloved name. On a personal level, Red, more than any coach in Hockey East, really reached out to me and really took me in when I came into the league. He was great for college hockey. He was a big, loving personality. When he walked in a room, the energy just went to him. He cared about people, and he treated people really well. He’ll be missed.”
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