Robert May, former UND hockey coach and North Stars dentist, dies

  • Article by: STAFF and NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: July 22, 2014 - 12:45 AM

 

Dr. Robert May, a former team dentist for the Minnesota North Stars and a head coach who led North Dakota to its first NCAA championship, has died.

May, who had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, died Sunday, the university announced. He was 87 and living in Plymouth.

May coached the Fighting Sioux to a national title in 1958-59, his second season behind the bench. His overall record was 45-17-2 in his two seasons at UND and guided the program to the title game both years.

He also played at UND during the 1949-50 and 1950-51 seasons, appearing in 47 games as a defenseman.

May’s contributions as a player and a coach “truly make him a builder of the success, history and tradition of our program,” said current UND head coach Dave Hakstol. “Beyond hockey, he was highly respected in both his career in dentistry, as well as a tremendous family man.”

May entered dental school in 1960 and was the North Stars’ team dentist from 1968 to 1983, according to franchise records. He also invented the first custom-fit mouthpiece for hockey players, the university said.

Before UND, his coaching career included stints leading the Wayzata boys high school team in 1954-1955 and Minneapolis Roosevelt in 1955-1957. In 1994, he started and coached the girls’ squad at Wayzata High School.

PAUL WALSH

U forward recovering from knee surgery

Gophers forward Charles Buggs underwent a minor knee surgery in April, which has limited him in summer basketball practices, assistant coach Dan McHale said.

The decision was made for Buggs to have the “scope” procedure after cartilage building up in his right knee became painful for the redshirt sophomore.

As of last week, Buggs still hadn’t been permitted to do anything that involves contact in practice. He’s been doing some light shooting during his rehab, McHale said, along with lifting — he’s managed to put on about 15 pounds despite the setback — and bike riding.

“We’ve not going to rush him back,” McHale coach said. “We’ve just got to make sure his knee is 100 percent.”

Last season, the Texas native averaged 1.7 points and 1.1 rebounds a game, but had a couple of big highlights in the conference season. Against Iowa, coach Richard Pitino subbed in Buggs for just his third Big Ten appearance ever. The forward promptly sank three shots from behind the arc and finished with 13 points.

However, he averaged 6.7 minutes a game for the rest of the year.

“He’s the type of kid that showed flashes,” McHale said. “If the light bulb goes on, he’s an extremely talented player.”

Amelia Rayno

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