On the way to the Frozen Four, Brandon Naurato is named Michigan's permanent head coach
After leading the Wolverines to a Big Ten tournament title and the Frozen Four in his first season, the coach's "interim" tag was dropped and a five -year contract is being finalized.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — While there are no roster additions this late in the college hockey season, Michigan’s head coach will head to Tampa next week with a commodity he was previously lacking: job security.
On Friday afternoon, University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel announced that Brandon Naurato’s “interim” tag has been removed, and they are finalizing a five-year contract for Naurato to be the Wolverines’ head coach.
“I am thrilled that Brandon Naurato will continue to lead our ice hockey program, and it is with that knowledge that I am incredibly excited for the future of this storied program,” said Manuel, in a statement from the school. “Simply put, Brandon has done a phenomenal job with this team over the past year … I look forward to watching the program sustain great success under his leadership.”
Named the interim head coach on Aug. 7, 2022, after Mel Pearson was dismissed from the Michigan program, Naurato, 38, led the Wolverines to a second-place finish in the Big Ten’s regular season, an upset of Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament’s title game, and back to the Frozen Four.
“I’m extremely honored to be officially named the head coach of Michigan hockey," said Naurato, who is from suburban Detroit and played for the Wolverines in the 2000s. “Michigan holds a special place in my heart. It's where I met my wife and where I started my family. It's where I want to be for a long time.”
Naurato returned to Michigan
as an assistant on Pearson’s staff last season following three years in player development with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.