In what looks to be a home run hire by the Badgers, former Wisconsin star Tony Granato has been named the new head coach of the men's hockey team, becoming the program's fifth head coach since 1966. He will be joined by new associate head coaches Mark Osiecki and Don Granato (Tony's younger brother).
For Granato, it's a homecoming long in the making. After playing for the Badgers from 1983 to 1987, he went on to have a successful NHL career (248 goals in 775 games), as well as a 15-year coaching career, including stints with the Colorado Avalanche, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. He was the head coach of the Avalanche from 2002 to 2004, as well as the 2008/2009 season. Overall, he amassed a head coaching record of 102-78-17.
During his time with the Badgers, Granato was twice named an All-American, is currently fourth all-time in points (220) and third in goals (100) in school history, was a captain during his senior season and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award in 1987. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame.
Wisconsin has created a beautiful website full of quotes and information about Granato and his new associate head coaches, that you need to check out before you do anything else today.
Click the link to find all of the quotes, but here are some of the highlights:
Adam Burish (Wisconsin, 2002-2006): "I can't wait to sit and watch. It's an exciting time to be a Badger hockey fan."
Blake Geoffrion (Wisconsin, 2006-2010): "As an alumni, I'm over the moon about you guys being on board - all three of you together."
Mike Richter (Wisconsin, 1985-1987): "These are tremendous coaches. They have a fantastic resume but most importantly, they're tremendous character people."
The university also put out a great video with athletic director Barry Alvarez discussing the hire.
Bucky's 5th Quarter will have more on Granato after his press conference on Wednesday evening.