Tony Granato and staff fired after seven seasons at Wisconsin
A 2021 Big Ten title and a Hobey Baker Award win were the highlights of the seven seasons Wisconsin alumnus Tony Granato spent behind the Badgers bench.
MADISON, Wis. — After seven seasons beind the bench for his alma mater, Wisconsin men's hockey coach Tony Granato was fired on Monday, March 6.
In an afternoon press release, the school announced that the Badgers' program will have new leadership starting with the 2023-24 season, and that Granato and his staff will not return.
"Coach Granato is a great Badger and no one is more passionate about Wisconsin hockey or the University of Wisconsin than he is," UW athletic director Chris McIntosh said, in a statement released by the school. "I have great appreciation for the heart and soul that he has poured into the program during his time as head coach."
Granato, who played for the Badgers in the 1980s prior to a lengthy NHL career, returned to Madison in 2016 after stints as the head coach of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh and Detroit.
Wisconsin went 105-129-16 overall and 65-87-12 in Big Ten play during Granato's seven seasons — finishing above .500 just twice. His high water mark came in 2021 when the Bagders won the Big Ten regular season crown and made the NCAA tournament, where they were upset by Bemidji State in the opening round.
He was named the conference's coach of the year in 2017 and 2021, and produced 2021 Hobey Baker Award winner Cole Caufield. Granato also coached the 2018 US Men's Olympic Team.
As a college player, Granato was one of the top scorers in Badgers hockey history and was elected to the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020. His brother Don is currently the head coach of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.
The 2022-23 Badgers finished last in the Big Ten with a 13-23-0 overall record and a 6-18-0 mark in the conference. The lost a pair of playoff games at Michigan last weekend.
Wisconsin will begin a national search for a replacement immediately.
"I believe our men's hockey program can consistently compete at a championship level," McIntosh said. "My intention is to find a coach that will lead the effort to get us there."