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Friday, May 09, 2008

Renfrew promoted at Michigan State

Compiled by MiCHO Staff

Michigan State head coach Rick Comley has announced the promotion of Brian Renfrew to associate head coach for the hockey program. Renfrew just completed his fifth season on the Spartan hockey staff.

“Brian is a quality young assistant with a bright future as a hockey coach,” noted Comley. “He has been a very valuable member of our staff in what has been a very successful stretch for our hockey program.”

“I’m proud to be part of such a strong program with outstanding tradition and I feel we’re continuing to build on that tradition of excellence here at Michigan State,” noted Renfrew. “I’d like to thank Coach Comley for bringing me to Michigan State five years ago and for giving me yet another opportunity as the associate head coach.”

During Renfrew’s tenure, the Spartans are 119-71-22 (.613), have made four NCAA Tournament appearances, including advancing to at least a regional final the last three seasons and capturing the 2007 NCAA Championship. Michigan State, along with North Dakota and Boston College, are the only three schools who have each won at least one game in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments.

Renfrew focuses heavily on recruiting, works primarily with the goaltenders and defensemen and is involved with and all day-to-day operations of the Spartan hockey program. In addition, he has helped mold one of college hockey’s top goaltenders, as well as one of the stingiest defenses in Division I hockey. Under Renfrew’s tutelage, Jeff Lerg has emerged as one of college hockey’s top netminders and was a Hobey Baker finalist this past year. Lerg has posted some of the best numbers not only in school history (he ranks among the all-time top 10 in 10 different career and season categories), but also in NCAA Tournament history, ranking sixth in career victories and in the top 10 in both goals-against average and save percentage.

Renfrew arrived at MSU after spending two seasons (2001-03) as an assistant coach at Northern Michigan University. At NMU, he worked directly with the goaltenders and defensemen and also assisted with game-day strategy, practice planning, video analysis, recruiting and travel planning. In addition, he was the coordinator of the Wildcat hockey school.

Renfrew’s first coaching positions were at Alaska Fairbanks as an assistant coach in 2000-01 and as the volunteer assistant in 1999-2000. At UAF, he worked with the goaltenders and defensemen and served as the Patty Center Ice Arena manager.

The Fairbanks native was a four-year letterwinner (1991-95) at Western Michigan and was a standout goaltender for the Broncos, setting a WMU record for minutes played in a season (2,356.21) as a senior. He closed his career with the third-lowest goals-against average (3.17) in Bronco history, in addition to racking up 39 career victories. He was a two-time CCHA Defensive Player of the Week selection and was selected as the MVP of the Great Alaska Face-off Tournament in 1994. He was WMU’s Most Improved Player in 1993 and earned the team’s Dedication and Perseverance Award in 1995.

Following college, Renfrew participated in the Kitimat Cup, a pre-world championship tournament with Team USA. He signed a contract to play professionally in the Dallas Stars organization for Kalamazoo of the International Hockey League in 1995, spending time mainly with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings. He also saw action with the American Hockey League’s Adirondack Red Wings and the Dayton Bombers of the East Coast Hockey League.

Renfrew also played for the Anchorage Aces of the West Coast Hockey League (1997-98), the Alexandria Warthogs of the Western Professional Hockey League (1998) and the Memphis River Kings of the Central Hockey League (1999).

He is an active member of USA Hockey, including his tour as a coach at the Three Nations Cup (Under 17) in the summer of 2006. He has also served as an assistant coach at the Select 16 Festivals with Team Pacific in 2001 and Team Michigan in 2002 and 2003, as well as presenting at various coaching clinics. Renfrew is a member of the American Hockey Coaches Association.

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