Wisconsin fires Tony Granato as Badgers men’s hockey coach

MADISON, The University of Wisconsin fired Tony Granato as men’s hockey coach on Monday after his second straight losing season.

Granato posted a 105-129-16 overall mark and a 65-87-2 Big Ten record in his seven seasons. Wisconsin ended its 13-23 season on Saturday with a loss to Michigan in the Big Ten quarterfinals.

“Coach Granato is a great Badger and no one is more passionate about Wisconsin hockey or the University of Wisconsin than him,” athletic director Chris McIntosh said in a statement Monday. “I appreciate the heart and soul he put into the program during his tenure as head coach.

“I think our men’s hockey program can consistently compete at a championship level. My goal is to find a coach who will work hard to get us there.”

Granato played for Wisconsin from 1983-87 before spending 13 seasons as an NHL player and another 13 seasons as an NHL head coach or assistant coach. In the NHL, he played 773 games and scored 248 goals and 492 points. He played for the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks.

He still ranks third in school history in career goals (100) and fourth in points (220). But after returning to his alma mater as head coach, he couldn’t turn Wisconsin into a consistent winner.

Granato was named Big Ten coach of the year in 2017 and 2021, when the Badgers won their last conference title. But those were Wisconsin’s only two winning seasons in seven years.

Wisconsin’s 13-23 record this season followed a 10-24-3 mark in the 2021-22 campaign.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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