The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey Head Coach Tony Granato was elected into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame Tuesday.
After being drafted out of high school in the sixth round of the 1982 NHL Draft, Granato played college hockey at Wisconsin from 1983-1987 before joining the New York Rangers. Granato enjoyed a stellar college career at Wisconsin, scoring 220 points in 152 games. In his senior season, Granato tallied 73 points in 42 games. For his play, Granato was voted on to the All-WCHA Second Team for both the 1984-85 and 1986-87 seasons.
After beginning his career with the Rangers, Granato was traded to the Los Angeles Kings midway through his second year. He then spent six full seasons with the Kings and finished his career in San Jose, playing five seasons with the Sharks.
Granato has built an impressive resume throughout his career and still owns the Rangers’ rookie record for goals in a year after scoring 36 in the 1988-89 season.
Granato was also a member of the 1988 United States Olympic team. After suffering a near-fatal head injury during the 1996 season, Granato returned to hockey merely one year later.
During the 1996-97 season, Granato recorded 40 points with the Sharks and won the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Following Granato’s impressive NHL career, he began coaching. Granato was given the Colorado Avalanche head coaching job in the middle of the 2002-03 season and guided them to an impressive 32-11-4-4 record.
He spent the next season as the Avalanche head coach but was then moved back to an assistant role with the team before the 2005-06 season. He remained in that role until the 2008-09 season when he was again given the head coaching job. After an unsuccessful season, Granato took an assistant coaching job with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Granato was with the Penguins for five seasons before the team fired their entire staff. From there, Granato took a job with the Detroit Red Wings. He stayed there for two years before the Badgers came calling.
Granato has spent the last three years as the head coach of his alma mater, while also serving as the head coach for the USA Men’s Olympic Hockey team in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
There is no denying Granato’s incredible hockey accomplishments both as a player and coach. During his career, Granato appeared in 774 games and scored 492 points. Granato then transitioned nicely to coaching, spending 14 years as a coach in the NHL before four seasons with the Badgers, where he continues to coach today.