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Maine Men’s Head Coach Red Gendron Passes at Age 63

Maine v Massachusetts-Lowell Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

The University of Maine has confirmed that men’s head hockey coach Red Gendron passed away Friday afternoon after experiencing a medical condition while golfing. Gendron was 63 years old.

A colorful, well-respected character in the hockey community, Gendron coached for over 40 years, spending time in the Vermont high school ranks before being hired onto Shawn Walsh’s staff at Maine as an assistant coach. He spent three years as an assistant at Maine, including the 1992-93 season in which Maine went 41-1-2, winning the school’s first national title with arguably one of the greatest college hockey teams ever.

From there, Gendron moved on to the pro coaching ranks, where he worked in the minor leagues and as an NHL scout. In 2005, he returned to college hockey as an assistant coach at UMass and helped guide the Minutemen to the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007. After UMass, he spent two years as associate head coach at Yale, where the Bulldogs won their first men’s hockey national championship in 2013.

That summer, he was hired by Maine, where he served as head coach for the past eight seasons.

Here is the statement released by the University of Maine:

The University of Maine has been informed that men’s ice hockey head coach Red Gendron experienced a medical condition this afternoon and passed away. He was 63.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by Red’s sudden death,” says UMaine 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. Our thoughts are with his wife Janet, daughters Katelyn and Allison, his coaching staff and players. They have our support and respect for their privacy during this difficult time.”

“Words cannot express our deep sadness from the tragic, sudden loss of Red Gendron,” says UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph. “Our community and the entire UMaine Athletics family mourn the loss of Coach Gendron and we ask you all to keep him, his family, his friends, and our hockey staff and student-athletes in your thoughts through this agonizing time.”

Just last evening, Boston Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman, one of the many players Gendron guided to the NHL, shared a great quote from his former coach: “You can’t buy experience at Target.”

College hockey will miss Gendron’s experience and his presence deeply.