Former Maroon wins 200th game as hockey coach

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Chris Bergeron, a Wallaceburg native, has won his 200th game as a coach this week in College Hockey.

The milestone combines his career with Bowling Green and Miami University hockey teams.

The former Chatham Maroon is beginning his fifth season as the head coach of Miami Hockey. Last season, Bergeron’s RedHawks went 8-24-4 in 2022-23 and won the programs 750th victory.

Director of Athletics David Sayler chose Bergeron to be the sixth head coach in Miami hockey history on April 5, 2019. Bergeron, a 1993 Miami graduate who played on the school’s first conference championship team and NCAA Tournament qualifier that same year, had been the head coach at former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rival Bowling Green for the past nine seasons. Under his guidance, the Falcons went 171-154-44.

Bergeron took Bowling Green to two Western Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament finals in his last three years, taking the eventual champion to overtime in both occurrences. In 2018-19, the Falcons secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament thanks to a 25-11-5 season, a record that represented the program’s most victories since 1994-95 and its first postseason berth since 1989-90.

Bowling Green won a mere five games the year before he arrived on the bench and had not enjoyed a winning record since the 1996-97 campaign, but that changed in 2013-14 when the Falcons went 18-15-6 in Bergeron’s fourth season. The Falcons then took a jump from there, posting 20 or more victories in five-straight seasons, going a collective 114-66-24 in that span.

Prior to taking the Bowling Green job, Bergeron played a crucial part in Miami’s rise to prominence. His recruiting chops and influence on the bench helped the RedHawks go 226-139-37 (.608 winning percentage) in his 10 seasons as an assistant coach. MU went to the NCAA Tournament six times and advanced to the first two Frozen Fours in school history in 2009 and 2010, appearing in the 2009 national championship game. During that stretch, MU won two conference titles (2005-06 and 2009-10), set a school record with 33 victories in 2007-08, earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament twice (2008 and 2010) and was the top overall seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Individually, Bergeron helped coach nine players who went on to earn All-American honors, including 2011 Hobey Baker winner Andy Miele, who became the first-ever Miami player to win the award. Additionally, Bergeron coached 17 RedHawks who went on to play in the NHL during his tenure.

Bergeron played at Miami from 1989-93 and was a two-year team captain. As a senior, Bergeron scored a team-high 61 points on 21 goals and 40 assists. Along with his offensive achievements that year, the four-year letterwinner was named the CCHA’s Best Defensive Forward as well as Miami’s Most Outstanding Senior.

He then spent seven years playing professionally before returning to Miami as an assistant coach. During that time, he played with the Adirondack Red Wings (AHL), the Birmingham Bulls (ECHL), the Toledo Storm (ECHL), the Cincinnati Cyclones (IHL) and the Columbus Cottonmouths (CHL), being named a league all-star four times. He also has coaching experience at the professional level, having served as a player/assistant coach with the Port Huron Bordercats of the United Hockey League for two seasons.

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