University of Maine men’s hockey head coach Red Gendron looks on prior to a Jan. 21, 2019, game against the University of New Hampshire at Alfond Arena in Orono. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

University of Maine head ice hockey coach Red Gendron died Friday after experiencing a medical emergency. He was 63 years old.

Members of the UMaine and college hockey communities took to social media to offer condolences and memories of the longtime coach.

UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by Red’s sudden death. He was a force in UMaine Athletics and in the legacy of our men’s ice hockey program. We mourn his passing and remember his many contributions to the generations of players he mentored and to the program that lit up Black Bear Nation and the state of Maine. Our thoughts are with his wife Janet, and daughters Katelyn and Allison, his coaching staff and players. They have our support and respect for their privacy during this difficult time.”

UMaine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph: “Words cannot express our deep sadness from the tragic, sudden loss of Red Gendron. Our community and the entire UMaine Athletics family mourn the loss of Coach Gendron and we ask you all to keep him, his family, his friends, and our hockey staff and student-athletes in your thoughts through this agonizing time.”

Richard Barron, UMaine men’s basketball coach: “Our good friend left us today. I had no idea I wouldn’t see him again. I assumed we had many more stories to share and so much more we could learn from each other. The news of his passing is painful. Love on your family. Love on your friends. Life is short. I miss U Red.”

Tom Caron, NESN sportscaster: “This stopped me in my tracks. One of the most caring coaches I have ever met. Red loved life, loved hockey, loved his players and his community. He will leave a huge void and we will miss him terribly.”

Hockey East Commissioner Steve Metcalf: “College hockey lost an absolute giant in the game today. Red was a coach, mentor, colleague and friend to so many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his team.”

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University of Massachusetts head ice hockey coach Greg Carvel: “Red, more than any coach in Hockey East, really reached out to me and really took me in when I came into the league. We had a real nice friendship and I think we saw a lot of each other in each other. When we played games against Maine you knew it was just gonna be good old-time hard hockey. We had a lot of respect for each other. He was great for college hockey, he was a big loving personality that when he walked in a room the energy just went to him. He cared about people, he treated people really well, and he will be missed. He was a good friend to me and he’ll be missed.”

New Jersey Devils, NHL hockey team: “We are saddened to hear about the passing of former assistant coach, Dennis ‘Red’ Gendron, who spent 11 years of his hockey career with the organization. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”

Alex Bezerra, hockey coach: “Sincerest condolences to the entire Gendron Family. Coach Red was a friend and mentor; somebody who helped form the foundation of the person I am today. Many great nights spent shooting the breeze at NAPS Camp and New England Rinks. Coach Red you will truly be missed by all!”

American Hockey League: “Red Gendron spent 11 years in the #NJDevils organization, including time as an assistant coach and head coach of their AHL affiliate in Albany. Our condolences to his family and friends @MaineIceHockey and throughout the hockey community.”

Patrick Silvia, The Maine Campus: “I was on the first tee box this afternoon at Penobscot Country Club just outside of Orono right as I was about to hit my ball I heard someone yell “does anyone know CPR”. Shortly after cop cars and an ambulance arrived. Red Gendron had passed away 2 holes in front of me. RIP.”

Barstool Black Bears: “We are all shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Coach Red Gendron today. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, as well as his family of coaching staff and players here at UMaine. Coach Red’s legacy to our hockey program and community will always be remembered”

Ryan Johnston, host of The Hockey Show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Boston: “Terrible news. Red Gendron was part of 3 Stanley Cups in New Jersey, an NCAA national championship at Yale, was a tremendous developmental coach at the college level (Maine/UMass/Yale), AHL, and for USA Hockey.”

Yale University men’s hockey: “Very sad news today about the passing of our friend, Red Gendron, who helped the Bulldogs win the 2013 NCAA Championship as an assistant coach. Our thoughts and prayers are with Red and his Family and the entire @BlackBearNation and @MaineIceHockey communities.”

Leigh Mendelson, Associate Head Coach / Director of Recruiting, Wenatchee Wild: “Absolutely devastated to hear about the passing of Red Gendron. There are people you meet along the way who make an impact, and Red certainly was one of them. Great person, storyteller, mentor and friend. Rest in peace Coach. Thank you.”

Dan Parkhurst, Conway, New Hampshire: “I was a 21-year old student manager at UNH when I met Red Gendron … he was a legend with a kind, generous soul. I’ll cherish our many chats over the last 30 years.”

Al Bean, University of Southern Maine athletics director: “I’m so sad to hear of the sudden passing of UMaine hockey coach Red Gendron. I had the pleasure of being teammates with Red in the Portland Twilight League. Red was a tough competitor & a great teammate. My thoughts, prayers & condolences go out to his family & the UMaine family.”

⁦Peter Ferraro, former UMaine hockey star: @MaineIceHockey⁩ and the entire hockey community lost a true Legend today. Thank you for believing in us and for impacting our lives and careers in so many ways. You will truly be missed. RIP Red Gendron.

UMaine softball head coach Mike Coutts: “Sad to hear of the passing of one of our own, Coach Red. Played baseball against him in the Portland Twi Light League back in the day. Competed like crazy then would hit Forest Gardens where He would play “Mac the Knife “ on the jukebox til he ran out of money. A classic. RIP”

Correction: Richard Barron is the head coach of the UMaine men’s basketball team.

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam

Lindsay Putnam is a news editor at the Bangor Daily News who oversees the newspaper's website and social media. Lindsay previously worked as an editor and reporter at the New York Post. She's a York Beach...