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Legendary Coach Ron Mason Passes Away at Age 76

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It's being reported that Ron Mason, the second-winningest head coach in college hockey history, passed away at the age of 76 on Sunday night.

Mason totaled 924 wins over the course of his 36-year coaching career. He began his coaching career at Lake Superior State for seven seasons before moving on to Bowling Green for six seasons. But he is perhaps best known for coaching at Michigan State for 23 years before serving as the school's athletic director from 2002-2008.

Mason won 11 CCHA league titles, 13 conference playoff titles, appeared in six Frozen Fours, and won the national title in 1986. Mason played an important role in the formation of the CCHA, and his powerhouse teams in the '70s and '80s helped bring respectability to college hockey's midwestern conference. The CCHA would name their conference playoff championship in honor of Mason.

If the purpose of college hockey is development, few, if any, cultivated more talent than Mason did over the course of his career. In addition to coaching numerous future NHL players in his time in college hockey, Mason also coached or worked with 15 future NCAA Division I head coaches, including three--Shawn Walsh, George Gwozdecky, and Rick Comley--that would go on to win multiple national championships.