The Wisconsin Badgers head coach for the hockey team has unfortunately coached his last game for the University. Following the loss to Michigan, the University of Wisconsin announced head coach Tony Granato had been fired and will not return to the hockey team next year. After posting a career 105-129-16 record in seven seasons with the Badgers, the team will look to move in a new direction.
Wisconsin Badgers Head Coach Tony Granato Fired After Loss
The 13-23 Wisconsin Badgers team certainly did not expect to be in the position they are in before the season. Last season, the Badgers finished with a losing record at 10-24-3 after winning 20 games in the 2020 season. Wisconsin made the NCAA tournament that year and lost in the first round to Bemidji State, 6-3, but has since missed the tournament two years in a row. The team also had two winning seasons under coach Tony Granato.
Statement from Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh on change in leadership of the men's hockey program pic.twitter.com/GPNVrpgOFy
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) March 6, 2023
Coach Granato and his time at Wisconsin will be remembered as what could have been. The Wisconsin Badgers expected a more consistent result for the team, and arguably a team that could compete in their conference. What really pushed Wisconsin over the edge was the 65-87-2 record that Granato has accumulated against conference teams. The Badgers have consistently finished at the bottom of the conference and struggled playing against those teams in particular.
Despite the news coming as a bit of a surprise, Tony Granato hinted at the fact that he knew the firing was coming after last year’s performance during his closing press conference. Granato was given a break over the performance of the team last year due to the Big Ten conference title the Badgers won in 2020, along with their NCAA tournament appearance.
Granato had plenty of success as a player for Wisconsin, still holding some of the longest standing program records. Granato has also coached at the national level for the United States in 2017 and 2018. However, as the Wisconsin Badgers head coach, Granato struggled to create a winning culture consistently.
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