Michigan fires Mel Pearson


Sep 19, 2012
not Brooklyn
Michigan is a collegiate hockey blue-blood. There are about 40 alumni on NHL rosters currently, making it the most represented college or club team in the league. Michigan purchased one of the first hockey arenas for a university in 1925 and has fielded a varsity team since 1992. The combination of facilities, geography, and tradition all lend themselves to the program's prestige.

Legendary hockey player and coach Red Berenson led Michigan from 1984 to 2017, an incredible tenure. He was succeeded by his assistant of 23 years, Mel Pearson, who also had four seasons of head coaching experience. Pearson was hired to 'keep the lights on,' so to speak, and he largely did so. In five seasons, he had two Frozen Four appearances and another tournament berth cancelled by Covid. He also recruited and coached some acclaimed draft classes.

Pearson came under fire last year when goaltending consultant Steve Shields filed a complaint after being fired by Pearson from his volunteer position. Shields had filed a complaint that Pearson's assistant Rick Bancroft was "discriminating against women." He alleges that Pearson unjustly fired him in retaliation. Bancroft retired after that season.

The university paid a law firm hundreds of thousands of dollars for an "unbiased report" amassing everything they could find wrong with the hockey program. A couple disgruntled former players said the coach was mean to them. There was an allegation that Pearson instructed his players to "answer correctly" when they were filling out their Covid contact tracing forms before the 2021 postseason tournament. Ultimately, they settled on Pearson allowing Bancroft to yell at a female employee once, causing her to cry, to go unpunished, as the reason he must go. Pearson was well-liked by many, including the athletic director, but with women on the board of regents, the decision was only going to go one way.

Michigan may promote assistant coach Bill Muckalt to the role, or they may blow the whole thing up and hire a black tranny. The next discussion to table after the coaching search is whether or not to rename the Yost Ice Arena because Fielding Yost was mean to blacks or women (can't remember which) eighty years ago.