Report: Tony Granato To Be Hired As Wisconsin Head Coach

Tony Granato is rumored to be named the new head coach of the University of Wisconsin Men’s Hockey program, as reported earlier this week by multiple outlets, including USCHO. This comes after long-serving coach, Mike Eaves, was relieved of his coaching duties after 14 seasons in charge of the program.

Tony Granato To Be Hired as Wisconsin Head Coach

Granato, 51, played his collegiate hockey for Wisconsin from 1983-87 and is fourth all-time on their scoring list in program history. The opinion that is widely held by Wisconsin fans is that this was a solid hiring that can easily bring back the success the program was growing accustomed to. The firing of Mike Eaves was a necessary evil, as the team finished dead last in the Big Ten this season and posted the programs worst record ever the season before, with a 4-26-5 record in 2014-15. Things didn’t get any better this year, as they posted a very forgettable 8-19-8 record and that was obviously the last straw on the Wisconsin coaching career for Mike Eaves.

Coach Eaves leaves Wisconsin with a 267-225-66 record in his 14 seasons in charge, to go along with a single National Championship that came in 2006, as well as finishing runner-up in 2010. Athletic Director, Barry Alvarez, had this to say when the announcement that Eaves wouldn’t be returning was made, “I told Mike I appreciated the work he’s done here. I also told him that we have great tradition and standards here in hockey. He’s the gatekeeper of hockey. I’m the gatekeeper of the department. We both have a responsibility.” He continued on to say, “After last season, because of the success we’ve had in the past, we felt that Mike had earned a chance to get the ship righted. But now, after back-to-back seasons like the last two we’ve had, I feel we need a change.” This is a sentiment that many Wisconsin fans surely will not argue.

Granato, who has experience in both playing for and coaching at Wisconsin, has spent a good portion of his hockey career as an assistant and a head coach at the NHL level. He played in the NHL for 13 seasons, playing for the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and New York Rangers over his 853 career games (regular and post-season games). He has been an assistant for the Detroit Red Wings since 2014, as well as being an assistant for the five years prior to that with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Alongside his NHL playing career, and being an assistant coach, he was also the head coach for the Colorado Avalanche on two occasions between 2002-04, and 2008-09. During his time as a head coach in the NHL he had a record of 104-78-16-17.

Main Photo: