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Man who guided UND to 1st hockey title dies at 87

  • Associated Press
  • July 21, 2014 - 12:30 PM

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Dr. Robert May, who coached the University of North Dakota to its first NCAA hockey championship and later became a dentist, has died. He was 87.

May coached the program in the 1957-58 and 1958-59 seasons and led UND into the NCAA title game both years. UND defeated Michigan State 4-3 in the 1959 championship.

May's record with UND was 45-17-2.

"As both a player and coach, Bob May had a major impact on the University of North Dakota hockey program," said Dave Hakstol, the current UND men's hockey coach. "His contributions truly make him a builder of the success, history and tradition of our program."

A former defenseman for UND, May played in 47 games and served as team captain in 1950-51. He received his bachelor's degree from UND in 1951.

May later became a dentist in Minnesota and served a stint as team dentist for the Minnesota North Stars. His hockey coaching career included stops with the Minneapolis Roosevelt boys and the Wayzata, Minnesota, girls.

May is a member of the UND Letterwinners Association Hall of Fame. He is a charter member of the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Dr. Zach Eakman, May's grandson, said his grandfather wore his championship ring until the day he died.

"More than anything, he was a member of UND and carried relationships with many former players and coaches," Eakman said.

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