Don Granato Leaves Wisconsin Staff for NHL
CHN Staff Report
MADISON, Wis. Wisconsin assistant coach Don Granato is leaving to accept a position as assistant coach with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.
Granato just completed his first season at his alma mater. He came along with brother/head coach Tony Granato and fellow alum/assistant Mark Osiecki to form the so-called "Dream Team," tasked with returning the Badgers to glory.
Wisconsin did enjoy a turnaround season, falling just short of the NCAA tournament. After winning 12 games over the previous two seasons, Wisconsin went 20-15-1 last year and finished second in the Big Ten.
Tony Granato was not surprised, knowing his brother aspired to be in the NHL some day.
"We came here with three head coaches and there's only one head coach on each bench," Tony Granato told UWBadgers.com. "My intention is to be here a long, long, long time. Donny and Mark are in another position."
Osiecki also said he was contacted by NHL teams, but is remaining with the Badgers for now.
The Granato family are natives of Illinois, from the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, so Don Granato heading to the Blackhawks is a dream come true, albeit a bittersweet one, he said. Don Granato worked with current Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville in St. Louis in 2005-06, and Tony Granato worked together with Quenneville in Colorado.
"My plan was not to leave after one year and I wouldn't have left after one year if I didn't think we're in the position we're in," Don Granato told UWBadgers.com.
"We have traction in the sense that we have lots of recruits committed and obviously the turnaround is the turnaround. ... That was a big thing to do and it took all the energy that all three of us had to do it."