Ron Mason, a leader on the original T.P.T. Petes OHA team and legendary former Michigan State hockey coach and athletic director has passed away.
The 76-year-old Mason took part in the ceremonial puck drop at the first ever game at the Peterborough Memorial Centre on November 8, 1956. He played two seasons with the Petes before moving to the senior OHA circuit and eventually going on to have success as a player at St. Lawrence University.
Mason led the Spartans to the 1986 NCAA national championship and was the winningest college hockey coach when he retired from coaching in 2002 with 924 wins over 36 seasons between Lake Superior State, Bowling Green and MSU. Mason was 635-270-69 in 23 seasons with the Spartans, leading MSU to the NCAA tournament 19 times.
“College hockey lost a legend last night,” tweeted Lake Superior State coach Damon Whitten, who played for Mason at MSU from 1997 to 2001. “Coach Mason was most prepared and detailed coach I had privilege of playing 4. Huge impact on many.”
Mason also served as MSU’s athletic director from 2002 until Dec. 31, 2007. Mason was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.
“Lost another legend today,” tweeted former MSU and NHL player Kevin Miller, whose family produced a number of players who played for Mason. “Coach was a great teacher and friend! RIP Coach Mason!! #verysad #GoGreen”
Born Jan. 14, 1940 in Blyth, Ontario, Mason is survived by his wife, Marion, daughters Tracey and Cindy, and grandsons Tyler and Travis Walsh. Travis Walsh finished his MSU playing career in March.