Wisconsin to hire Tony Granato as next head coach: Report

(Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The University of Wisconsin’s men’s hockey team will reportedly hire Tony Granato as their next head coach.

ESPN’s John Buccigross along with  USCHO both reported the news Sunday morning that Granato will replace long-time coach Mike Eaves who was fired in mid-March. Eaves had been the Badgers’ coach for 14 seasons, but had won just 12 of his last 70 games.

Both report Tony Granato will hire his brother, Don Granato a Badgers alum who works with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program and Mark Osiecki, who works as the associate coach of the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. Osiecki is also a Wisconsin alum and former head coach of Ohio State. He was also a Wisconsin assistant coach from 2004-10.

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Tony Granato, 51, is currently an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings and played four years at Wisconsin.

After a 774-game NHL career, he spent parts of three seasons as an NHL head coach with the Colorado Avalanche. In 215 games, Granato went 104-78-17-16.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame.

All three will be tasked with turning around a once proud program that has fallen on hard times. Wisconsin has won six national titles and made 12 appearances in the Frozen Four but USCHO’s story notes that attendance at Wisconsin home games fell below 10,000 fans for the first time in 18 seasons. Net profit from the men’s hockey team has fallen from $1.179 million in 2011-12 to $38,502 in 2014-15.

Some have pointed out that Eaves' ability to recruit has slowed in recent years. 

Still, the program has potential. The Badgers won the 2006 National Championship with Eaves as coach, made the National Championship game in 2010 and have a bevy of solid NHL players who are former Badgers. These include New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan, Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski and Minnesota Wild blueliner Ryan Suter.



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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!