Former Michigan State hockey coach and athletic director Ron Mason has been selected for the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, the USA Hockey announced on Thursday. Mason is joined by Cindy Curley, Bill Guerin, Peter Karmanos, Jr., and Doug Weight.
Mason spent 36 seasons behind the bench at the college hockey ranks with Lake Superior State (1966-73), Bowling Green State (1973-79), and Michigan State (1979-2002), finishing with a 924-380-83 record. His win total ranks him second all-time and his .696 winning percentage ranks him in the top 10.
Mason began his coaching career in 1966 as Lake Superior State first head hockey coach. He led the Lakers to five NAIA Tournament appearances and a 1972 National Championship. Three of the other teams that made NAIA Tournament appearances finished as NAIA runners-up.
In 1973, Mason moved to Bowling Green and coached there for six seasons. He led the Falcons to three CCHA regular-season titles (1976, 1978, 1979) and three straight playoff championships (1977, 1978, 1979).
Mason’s MSU career began in the 1979-80 season when he replaced Amo Bessone behind the bench. Prior to Mason’s arrival Bessone led the program to a 367-427-20 record, two Big Ten conference titles in 1966-67 and 1975-1976, back-to-back Frozen Four appearances in 1965 and 1966 including a national championship in 1965-66.
Mason spent 23 years at MSU, posting a 635-270-69 record highlighted by an NCAA Championship in 1986 and 17 CCHA regular-season and playoff titles. He also led the Spartans to a record 23 NCAA tournament appearances.
Following his coaching career, Mason served as the MSU athletic director from 2002-2008. During his reign, MSU captured 11 conference championships and one national championship ice hockey (2007). The Spartans also made appearances in 76 NCAA Championships,including semifinal action by men’s basketball, (2005), women’s basketball (2005), field hockey (2002 and 2004) and ice hockey (2007).