MAINE, USA — UMaine men’s ice hockey head coach Red Gendron experienced a medical condition and died Friday afternoon, the University said. He was 63.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by Red’s sudden death,” UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy said in a statement.
Gendron has served as head coach of the Black Bears since 2013, but his experience at UMaine dates back even further. He contributed to the 1993 NCAA National Championship team as an assistant coach under Shawn Walsh. Gendron then left Orono to explore other opportunities before returning to lead the program.
In 2018, he signed a two-year contract extension as head coach until at least June 30, 2021.
“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.”
“Very sad, we all hope and pray to go on our own terms. The sudden nature of Red's passing creates a sadness for all who knew him! I have tremendous respect for his work at Maine! As you noted, he had the ability to take over a room with his personality! We will truly miss him,” Jack Cosgrove, former UMaine football coach, told NEWS CENTER Maine's Lee Goldberg.
“Words cannot express our deep sadness from the tragic, sudden loss of Red Gendron,” UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph said.
“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.”
The hockey community is reacting to the news on social media.