Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Ron Mason

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Sport(s)  Ice hockey
Overall  924–380–83 (.696)
1967–1973  Lake Superior State
Name  Ron Mason
1974–1979  Bowling Green
Role  Ice hockey coach
1980–2002  Michigan State

Ron Mason cdn3sportngincomattachmentsphoto26260616Mas
Born  January 14, 1940 (age 75) Blyth, ON, CAN (1940-01-14)
Education  University of Pittsburgh, Michigan State University, St. Lawrence University

Ron mason u s hockey hall of fame induction speech

Ronald Herbert Mason (January 14, 1940 – June 13, 2016) was a Canadian ice hockey player, head coach, and university executive. A head coach of various American universities, most notably Michigan State University (MSU), he was the most successful coach in NCAA ice hockey history between 1993-2012 with 924 wins, until Jerry York (Boston College) become the new winningest coach with his 925th career win on December 29, 2012. Mason was athletic director at MSU from 2002-08. He then served as senior advisor for the USHL Muskegon Lumberjacks. On December 2, 2013, Mason was inducted into the U.S Hockey Hall of Fame.


Ron mason u s hockey hall of fame introduction


Ron Mason was born the son of Harvey Mason, a salesman, and Agnes Mackay Mason, an elementary school teacher. He married the former Marion Bell on June 8, 1963. They had two daughters, Tracey (born 1963) and Cindy (born 1968) and two grandsons, Tyler and Travis. Travis was a defenseman on the Michigan State University hockey team until his graduation in 2016. Mason had one sister, Marion Mason Rowe.


Mason earned a B.A. in physical education from St. Lawrence University in 1964 and a Masters in physical education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965. Michigan State University awarded Mason an honorary Doctorate in 2001.

Career as player

Mason played junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey Association’s Peterborough Petes and the Ottawa Junior Canadians. From there Mason enrolled at St. Lawrence University in the upstate town of Canton, New York where he lettered in hockey for three years. In his first season at SLU in 1960-61, Mason and the Skating Saints were NCAA national finalists. In 1961-62, Mason and SLU won the school's first-ever Eastern College Athletic Conference championship and made the NCAA Frozen Four. In his final season, SLU won a school-record 20 games finishing 20–6–1. Mason lead the team in scoring twice earning back-to-back first-team all league honors. Mason was St. Lawrence's only player to earn that distinction until T. J. Trevelyan was named all league in 2005 and 2006.

Career as coach

Mason coached one NAIA program, Lake Superior State, and two NCAA programs, Bowling Green State and Michigan State in 36 seasons from 1966-2002. He won two national titles: NAIA in 1972 with Lake Superior State and NCAA in 1986 with Michigan State. Ron Mason finished his coaching career as the all-time career victories leader in college hockey history with 924 wins. Boston College's Jerry York surpassed Mason's win total on December 31, 2012. Mason is also the career coaching victories leader at Michigan State with 635 wins. He is Bowling Green State's winningest coach by percentage winning over 71 percent of his 229 games at BGSU.

Mason had 33 seasons with a winning record, 30 seasons winning 20 or more games and 11 seasons winning 30 or more games. Mason won ten CCHA regular season championships and a record 13 CCHA tournament titles. He advanced his teams to the NCAA tournament 22 times—six times as the No. 1 seed—making the Frozen Four eight times. Mason was the CCHA coach of the year six times. He won the Spencer Penrose Memorial Trophy as the national coach of the year in 1992.

On January 26, 2002, a media report stated Mason would step down as coach at Michigan State to take over the athletic director position at MSU. On January 28, 2002, Mason made it official he would leave his post as head ice hockey coach to become athletic director.

Lake Superior State

Mason started the hockey program at Lake Superior State University in 1966. In seven seasons at LSSU he produced four 20-win seasons and never lost more than 10 games. He guided the Lakers to the 1972 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship.

Bowling Green State

In 1973 he moved to Bowling Green State University where he won three Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular season titles and three consecutive CCHA tournament titles in six seasons. In 1977 Bowling Green State earned their first berth in the NCAA tournament. The berth was a first for a team not from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association or Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA tournament's 30 year history. It was the first of three consecutive NCAA tournaments under Mason. BGSU won the third-place game over defending national champion Wisconsin in the 1978 NCAA Frozen Four. In 1978-79 Mason coached BGSU to a then NCAA record 37 wins. The record would be broken in 1984-85 by Mason's own Michigan State team.

Michigan State

Michigan State University Athletic Director Joseph Kearney hired Mason to replace the retiring Amo Bessone on April 1, 1979. In his third season at MSU, Mason guided Michigan State to their first NCAA tournament in 15 seasons. Four seasons later in 1986, Mason led Michigan State to the school's second national title. Michigan State returned to the championship game the following season but lost to North Dakota. On March 12, 1993, with a 6-5 win over Kent State, Mason passed former Boston College coach Len Ceglarski to become college hockey's all-time winningest coach with 674 wins. While at MSU, Mason won a conference-record 10 CCHA tournament championships, including a conference-record four straight from 1982-85. In addition, MSU under Mason won seven CCHA regular season titles, earned 19 NCAA tournament appearances, and earned seven NCAA Frozen Four appearances.

Career as athletic director

Ron Mason began his duties as athletic director on July 1, 2002. Before he officially became athletic director, Mason chose Rick Comley as his successor as hockey coach.

On November 4, 2002, after a disappointing season and a series of off-the-field incidents with players, Mason fired head football coach Bobby Williams with three games left in the season and eventually hired John L. Smith away from Louisville as his permanent replacement. Mason fired Smith after three consecutive losing seasons leading some to believe he did not know what he was doing. However, Mason redeemed himself by hiring Mark Dantonio away from Cincinnati, who brought the Spartans to football prominence.

While athletic director, the Michigan State hockey team won the school's third national title in 2007. Mason is the only person to have won NCAA ice hockey titles as head coach and athletic director.

Mason placed a priority seat licensing program in Spartan Stadium based on years of holding season tickets, contribution to the Ralph Young Fund, and a licensing fee for better seats on top of the price of season tickets. Further updates to increase revenue in Spartan Stadium included a $64 million USD expansion and improvements which include:

  • 24 luxury suites
  • 800 club seats
  • The "Grand Entrance" featuring high ceilings, glass walls, marble floors and a new home for the original Sparty statue
  • 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) luxury concourse
  • Office space for the MSU alumni association and Spartan Athletic Office
  • State of the art recruiting lounge
  • Upgraded stadium wide bathroom and concourse renovations
  • An increase of 3000 seats, bringing the total stadium capacity to 75,005
  • In September 2006, Michigan State University's Board of Trustees approved a contract extension for Mason extending his contract as MSU's athletic director through June 2008. He retired from the post of athletic director at Michigan State University on January 1, 2008, and was succeeded by Mark Hollis.

    Legacy with the CCHA

    In addition to his success as a coach, Mason was involved in organizing the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and helping it to grow into one of the most powerful college hockey conferences of the 1980s, '90s, and 2000s. When Mason began coaching in 1966 there were only two major conferences in the NCAA, the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. While building the ice hockey program at Lake Superior State to Division I status, Mason found that his team was left without a conference. In 1972 Mason, along with Bowling Green State University's Jack Vivian, St. Louis University's Bill Selman, Ohio State University's Dave Chambers, Ohio University's John McComb and the CCHA's first commissioner Fred Jacoby, formed the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Mason's coaching tenure at Bowling Green State produced the CCHA's first NCAA tournament berth, first appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four, and first national No. 1 ranking.

    For his contributions in helping build the CCHA, the conference renamed their tournament championship trophy as the Mason Cup in 2000–01.


    Mason volunteered with the Sparrow Foundation where he established the Ron Mason Fund for Pediatric Rehabilitation which helps children with disabilities. The fund has raised $675,000 for the foundation since 1998. He was also honorary chairperson for the Children's Miracle Network which has raised $19 million plus since 1989.

    Notable players coached

    In his 36 years, Mason coached a number of outstanding players.

    NHL first round draft picks

    Joe Murphy was first ever NCAA player selected first overall

    Coaching tree

    Many former and current college hockey head coaches can trace their lineage back to Ron Mason as shown below either as former players or former assistant coaches for Mason.

  • Tom Anastos – former player and assistant coach – Michigan State
  • Head coach: University of Michigan–Dearborn 1987–90, Michigan State University 2011–2017
  • Former CCHA Commissioner 1998-2011
  • NCAA Tournament: 2012
  • Newell Brown – former player and assistant coach – Michigan State
  • Head coach: Michigan Technological University 1990–92, Adirondack Red Wings (AHL) 1992–96
  • Currently assistant coach, Vancouver Canucks
  • Steve Cady – former assistant coach – Bowling Green State
  • Head coach: Miami University 1978–85
  • Currently Senior Associate Athletics Director, Miami
  • Namesake of Miami's Steve Cady Arena at Goggin Ice Center
  • Danton Cole – former player – Michigan State
  • Head coach: Muskegon Fury (UHL) 2001–02, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) 2002–05, University of Alabama, Huntsville 2007–2010, USA Hockey National Team Development Program 2010–2017, Michigan State University 2017–Present
  • UHL Champions: 2002
  • CHA playoff champions: 2010
  • NCAA Tournament: 2010
  • Rick Comley – former player and assistant coach – Lake Superior State
  • Head coach: Lake Superior State University 1973–76, Northern Michigan University 1976–2002, Michigan State University 2002–2011
  • CCHA champions: 1974, 1980, 1981
  • CCHA playoff champions: 1980, 1981, 2006
  • WCHA champions: 1991
  • WCHA playoff champions: 1989, 1991, 1992
  • NAIA National Champions: 1974
  • NCAA Tournament: 1980, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • NCAA Frozen Four: 1980, 1981, 1991, 2007
  • NCAA National Finalist: 1980
  • NCAA National Champions: 1991, 2007
  • Currently involved in layer recruitment, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Bob Daniels – former player – Michigan State
  • Head coach: Ferris State University 1992–Present
  • CCHA champions: 2003, 2012
  • WCHA champions: 2014
  • NCAA Tournament: 2003, 2012, 2014
  • NCAA Frozen Four: 2012
  • NCAA National Finalist: 2012
  • George Gwozdecky – former assistant coach – Michigan State
  • Head coach: University of Wisconsin–River Falls 1982–84, Miami University 1989–94, University of Denver 1994–2013
  • CCHA champions: 1993
  • WCHA champions: 2002, 2005, 2010
  • WCHA playoff champions: 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008
  • NAIA National Champions: 1983
  • NCAA Tournament: 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • NCAA Frozen Four: 2004, 2005
  • NCAA National Champions: 2004, 2005
  • Currently assistant coach, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Chris Luongo - former player – Michigan State
  • Head coach: University of Alabama, Huntsville 2010–12
  • John Markell – former player – Bowling Green State
  • Head coach: Ohio State University 1994–2010
  • CCHA playoff champions: 2004
  • NCAA Tournament: 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
  • NCAA Frozen Four: 1998
  • John Mason (no relation) – former assistant coach – Bowling Green State and Michigan State
  • Head coach: Northern Arizona University 1984–86
  • Currently manager, Omaha Junior Lancers
  • Mark Mazzoleni – former player – Michigan State
  • Head coach: University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point 1985–91, Miami University 1994–99, Harvard University 1999–2004, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) 2004–2008
  • ECAC tournament champions: 2002, 2004
  • NCAA Division III National Champions: 1989, 1990, 1991
  • NCAA Tournament: 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Currently assistant coach, St. Norbert College
  • Tom Newton – former player - Bowling Green State - former assistant coach – Michigan State
  • Head coach: Kent State University 1981–82
  • Currently assistant coach, Michigan State
  • Doug Ross – former player – Bowling Green State
  • Head coach: Ohio University 1976–77, Kent State University 1979–81, University of Alabama, Huntsville 1982–2007
  • CHA champions: 2001, 2003
  • CHA tournament champions: 2007
  • NCAA Tournament: 2007
  • NCAA Division II National Champions: 1996, 1998
  • Ted Sator – former player and assistant coach – Bowling Green State
  • Head coach: New York Rangers (NHL) 1985–87, Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) 1987–89, New Orleans Brass (ECHL) 1997–2002, Slovenian National Team 2006-08, Hungarian national ice hockey team 2009–Present
  • Paul Titanic – former player – Bowling Green State
  • Head coach: University of Toronto (CIS) 1985–95, Markham Waxers (AAA Midget) 1999-2006
  • OAU champions: 1993
  • Developed first-round NHL draft picks Cody Hodgson, Steven Stamkos and Michael Del Zotto while coaching in Markham
  • Shawn Walsh – former player – Bowling Green State - former assistant coach – Bowling Green State and Michigan State
  • Head coach: University of Maine 1984–2001
  • Hockey East champions: 1988, 1992, 1993, 1995
  • Hockey East playoff champions: 1989, 1992, 1993, 2000
  • NCAA Tournament: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001
  • NCAA National Finalist: 1995
  • NCAA National Champions: 1993, 1999
  • Damon Whitten - former player - Michigan State
  • Head coach: Lake Superior State University 2014–Present
  • Jim Wiley – former player – Lake Superior State
  • Head coach: Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) 1985-90, Kansas City Blades (IHL) 1993-96, San Jose Sharks (NHL) 1995-96, Kentucky Thoroughblades (AHL) 1996-98
  • References

    Ron Mason Wikipedia