Legendary Michigan State coach Mason passes away

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Ron Mason, the legendary Michigan State University hockey coach who spent 23 seasons behind the Spartans bench, has passed away at the age of 76.

Mason has the second most wins in college hockey history with 924 victories over a 36-year career, which included an NCAA national title in 1986. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in December, 2013. Over the span of his career, 50 players have moved on from his hockey program to play in the National Hockey League, the school said in a statement.

In 2001, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association re-named its playoff trophy to the Mason Cup in his honor.

Following his coaching career, Mason took over the title of athletics director at Michigan State from 2002 to 2007.

“Coach Mason defined what it means to be a Spartan,” Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon said in a statement.

“His relentless quest for excellence on and off the rink made everyone around him better. He truly created a Spartan hockey family in which the focus was on collective success rather than worrying about who received credit. That drive translated into great accomplishments on the ice and in life for all those fortunate enough to work with or play for him.”

A number of former Michigan State players, like Justin Abdelkader, 2001 Hobey Baker Award winner Ryan Miller and Torey Krug, have passed along their condolences on social media.

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