Ron Mason, one of nation's top coaches, named director of athletics at MSU

Contact: Deb Pozega Osburn, University Relations, (517) 355-2281

Feb 13, 2002

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The winningest coach in college hockey history was named today as Michigan State University's 16th director of intercollegiate athletics by the university's Board of Trustees.

Mason will succeed Clarence Underwood, who will retire July 1. Underwood has directed the program since April of 1999.

"Ron Mason is a superb leader, a skilled manager and a highly respected motivator," said MSU President Peter McPherson, who recommended the appointment to the board. "We expect his commitment to excellence to be the hallmark of our athletics department."

Mason, who is in his 23rd hockey season at MSU and his 36th as a head coach, will oversee a program that includes 25 men's and women's varsity sports.

"I am excited and proud to be the athletics director at Michigan State," Mason said. "It was a very difficult decision to give up coaching, and it always will be a major part of my life. I will bring to this new position the lessons learned from building winning teams."

Mason earned a bachelor's degree from St. Lawrence University in 1964 and a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965.

Mason has been named Coach of the Year in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association seven times. He won his 600th game behind the Spartan bench on Feb. 17, 2001, and won his 900th career game on Oct. 20, 2001.

He previously was head hockey coach at Lake Superior State University and Bowling Green State University.