Al Renfrew, a member of the first ever NCAA national championship team, and head coach at Michigan Tech, North Dakota, and most notably, Michigan passed away on Monday at the age of 89.
Renfrew became the first player to win a national title as both a player(1948, Michigan) and as a head coach (1964, Michigan). But Renfrew will be remembered as much for his contributions to Michigan after his coaching career than for what he did as a player and coach.
Michigan head coach Red Berenson played under Renfrew as a college player, and had this to say in a Michigan press release on Renfrew's passing:
"Al was one of the main reasons I came back as a coach. He and Don Canham talked to me about coming back to Michigan in 1984 and part of the reason I came back was the experience he had given me as a player. He was a mentor when I first started here. Al was always a friend and I always felt that any time we needed to talk about hockey or anything else he was there for you. He meant a lot to Michigan hockey as a player and a coach, and he was a big part of the athletic department, along with his wife Marjorie, for years until he retired. He was a great friend of Michigan and a great friend of the Michigan hockey program."
Renfrew is also known as the creator of the iconic 'M Club' banner the Michigan football team runs under before every home game.
This piece by MGoBlog, juxtaposing Renfrew's now-famous banner with the new trophy for the Wisconsin-Nebraska football series announced yesterday is one of the best things you'll read all day, and a wonderful tribute to Renfrew.