Tony Granato can soon add international hockey coach to his resume, per multiple sources. News broke on Thursday that Granato will be announced the head coach for the men’s hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics, held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The hockey tournament begins February 14, 2018, meaning Granato will miss Wisconsin’s regular-season closing series at Ohio State, and could potentially miss Wisconsin’s final home series against Minnesota on February 9-10. Associate head coaches Mark Osiecki and Mark Strobel will take over for Granato to coach the Badgers.
Granato, a University of Wisconsin alum, coached his first season for the Badgers in 2016-2017. He led the Badgers to a Big Ten Conference championship game and a record of 20-15-1, an improvement from the 2015-2016 season that garnered Granato the Big Ten coach of the year award. Last season was Granato’s first as a head coach, but he has an extensive resume as an assistant coach for NHL teams. Additionally, Granato played for Team USA in seven events during his playing career.
This year marks the first that NHL players will not participate in the Games. Players are expected to hail from the American Hockey League, European leagues and colleges. This marks Granato’s first international head coaching job for Team USA.