Add to Calendar
Skip to main content Skip to footer

Brian Renfrew
Brian  Renfrew

Associate Head Coach


Neil's Notebook: Spartans Use OT to Knock Off Ferris State

Notes, quotes and analysis from Neil Koepke on Friday's OT win over Ferris State.

Brian Renfrew, the associate head coach at Michigan State University, has helped mold some of the college game's top goaltenders in addition to one of the stingiest defenses in Division I hockey.

In his position at Michigan State University, Renfrew is the program's recruiting coordinator, works primarily with the goaltenders and defensemen, is the program's scheduling coordinator, and is involved with all day-to-day operations of the Spartan hockey program.

Renfrew, a collegiate and professional goaltender, has helped tutor some of the CCHA's premeire netminders not only during his time at Michigan State, but also at his other coaching stops. His current pupil, Drew Palmisano, is among the CCHA and nation's leaders in all statistical categories. Prior to Palmisano, Renfrew recruited and coached Jeff Lerg, who cemented his place as one of college hockey's top goaltenders and was a Hobey Baker candidate. Lerg ended his career ranked second all-time in career saves in the NCAA recordbook, but also posted some of the best numbers in school history, in NCAA career statistics, and also in NCAA Tournament history with a career 1.62 GAA and .947 save percentage.

In addition, two defensemen at Michigan State under Renfrew's tutelage have earned All-America honors: AJ Thelen (2004) and Jeff Petry (2010). In all, Renfrew has coached two Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalists, five All-Americans, 12 players who have been named either first or second team All-CCHA, and five freshmen who have been named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.

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. He helped the Wildcats to upper-division finishes in each of his seasons at Northern Michigan, and assisted in the development of goaltender Tuomas Tarkki, who led the league in GAA and save percentage as a senior en route to First Team All-CCHA honors.

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 manager.

The Fairbanks, Alaska, 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 Redwings 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 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.

He earned his bachelor's degree in applied liberal studies from Western Michigan in June 2000. Renfrew and his wife, Michelle, have three daughters: Brianna, Emily, and Lily.

Partners & Sponsors