NCAA Hockey: Wisconsin announces head coach Tony Granato and staff
MADISON, Wis. – Since 1966, just four men have spent a season behind the bench as the leader of the Wisconsin men's hockey program. Starting in 2016, Tony Granato will be the fifth.
Tony Granato, currently an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, will be joined by associate head coaches Don Granato, who directs the USA Hockey National Team Development Program's Under-17 Team, and Mark Osiecki, associate head coach of the AHL's Rockford IceHogs.
Tony Granato, who is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, has been in the NHL as a head coach or an assistant coach since 2002, a year after retiring from a 13-year NHL career. Granato was 72-33-17 during his first head coaching stint with the Colorado Avalanche during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, and owns a 102-78-17 head coaching record with the Avalanche when including his 2008-09 season at the helm of Colorado.
The Downers Grove, Illinois, native spent three-plus seasons as an assistant coach with the Avalanche, before five seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2009-14). During his time in Pittsburgh, the Penguins collected at least 101 points in each of his seasons and won a league-best 36 games during the 48-game campaign in 2012-13.
He also served as an assistant coach for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, where he coached former Badgers Ryan McDonagh, Joe Pavelski, Derek Stepan and Ryan Suter.
A four-time 30-goal scorer in the NHL, Tony Granato skated for the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks during his 13-year playing career. He helped the Kings reach the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals playing alongside Wayne Gretzky. Winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 1997 for his dedication to hockey, he also tallied eight points for Team USA at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games.
A two-time All-American for the Badgers, Tony Granato was a finalist for the 1987 Hobey Baker Memorial Award after his 73-point senior season. In addition to serving as the Badgers' captain during the 1986-87 campaign, Granato was named the WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year. A member of the UW Athletics Hall of Fame, he finished his Badger career as the school's fourth-leading scorer with 220 points, ranking third with 100 career goals.
Don Granato, one of Tony's younger brothers, arrives in Madison after working nearly five seasons as a head coach with the U.S. National Team Development Program (US NTDP). While with the US NTDP, Granato helped develop some of the world's best young players, including UW freshman Luke Kunin, as well as other potential 2016 NHL first-round draft picks in Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk.
Working in two-year cycles with the US NTDP, Granato was head coach of the 2015-16 U.S. Under-17 Team after directing the U.S. Under-18 Team in 2014-15. The squad won the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 World Championship. He also led the 2013 Under-18 team to silver at the tournament, while coaching the 2014 U.S. Under-17 National Team to a title at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2012 U.S. Under-17 National Team to a second-place finish at the Challenge.
Granato's 2014-15 Under-18 National Team went 9-7-2 against NCAA Division I and III competition, while the 2012-13 U.S. Under-18 squad recorded an 11-6-4 record against NCAA Division I and III schools to earn the best winning percentage (.619) against collegiate teams in NTDP history.
Along with his duties with the U.S. National Team Development Program, Don Granato served as an assistant coach under Mark Osiecki with the 2015 U.S. World Junior Team, and as an assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, coaching former UW standouts Jake Gardiner, Jake McCabe and Craig Smith.
Like his brother Tony, Don Granato has NHL coaching experience, serving as an assistant for the St. Louis Blues during the 2005-06 season, but also spent years as a head coach in junior and minor-league hockey.
Before the NHL stint, Don enjoyed five years at the helm of the AHL's Worcester IceCats (2000-05), earning recognition as league coach of the year in his debut season. That followed an ECHL title with the Peoria Rivermen (1999-2000). He also spent two seasons as coach for the ECHL's Columbus Chill and two seasons for the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. The two years in Green Bay included a pair of Clark Cup championships. He also directed the USHL's Wisconsin Capitals in 1993-94.
During his playing career at Wisconsin, Granato helped Wisconsin win the 1990 NCAA title and ended his UW playing career with 88 points on 45 goals and 43 assists. Granato served as one of the Badgers' captains during the 1990-91 season when he tallied a career-high 14 goals and 14 assists.
Osiecki returns to coach in Madison after serving as the associate head coach for the AHL's Rockford IceHogs for the past two years.
A native of Burnsville, Minnesota, Osiecki was the head coach at Ohio State from 2010-13 following a successful stint as an assistant and associate head coach with Wisconsin. During his time with the Badgers from 2004-10, Osiecki was the recruiting coordinator and defensive coach, helping UW win the NCAA title in 2006. Twenty-two of the Badgers who played for Wisconsin during the six seasons Osiecki was part of the coaching staff went on to play in the NHL. Of the 22 players, 10 were defensemen, including current NHLers Ryan McDonagh, Justin Schultz, Tom Gilbert, Jake Gardiner, Jamie McBain, Brendan Smith and Cody Goloubef.
Osiecki also served as a coach on the international level, helping the U.S. win gold at the 2010 and 2013 World Junior Championships and bronze at the 2011 tournament. He was head coach of the squad in 2015. The 2010 gold medal team featured former UW players Jake Gardiner, John Ramage and Derek Stepan, while the 2013 gold-medal squad included Jake McCabe.
Prior to his first stint in Madison, Osiecki was the head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers from 1997-2004, leading the team to the Clark Cup in 2000. The 1999 USHL Coach of the Year, his squad won four-straight division crowns from 1999-2002. More than 65 Gamblers advanced to NCAA Division I hockey playing careers while 17 were drafted by NHL squads.
He spent the 1996-97 season as an assistant at North Dakota, helping the team to the 1997 NCAA crown.
Osiecki enjoyed a six-year professional career, including two years in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota North Stars. He also represented the United States as a player at the 1992 World Championship.
A three-year letterwinner on defense for the Cardinal and White from 1987-90, Osiecki served as an alternate captain for the 1990 NCAA Championship team, the program's fifth national championship squad. During the NCAA title season, he collected career highs with 38 assists and 43 points and earned a spot on the Frozen Four all-tournament team.