The University of Wisconsin-Madison has one of the country's most storied collegiate-level ice Hockey programs. This distinction applies to both the men's and women's units of the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Badger women have continued to be one of the top units in their conference and nationwide. But the men's side has fallen short of expectations in recent years. The head coach had been a familiar figure in the program's history. But, in the end, that was not enough to offset the disappointing results.

Badgers fire Tony Granato

Tony Granato has been relieved of his duties, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and ESPN.

Moving forward, he will no longer be the men's ice hockey coach for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Granato's tenure as Badgers head coach was generally not up to the program's standards. However, it did have a couple of bright spots along the way. He was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year twice. In 2021, the team had an excellent regular season that likely marked the high point of Granato's term. The Badgers won the Big Ten Championship for the season. But I would like to capture the title in the next conference tournament. They were still selected as a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament but were upset in the first round by Bemidji State.

Granato had played college hockey with the Badgers in the left-wing position.

He would be named an All-American twice as a Badger. Afterward, he became a longtime player in the National Hockey League. He was playing with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks.

With the Kings, Granato reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993. Three years later, he suffered a significant head injury in a game versus the Hartford Whalers.

There was speculation that Grananto would never play again. But he would return with the Sharks the following season, during which he received an All-Star selection. For his comeback, Granato received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy from the NHL.

After retiring from playing, which had included time with Team USA, Granato went into coaching.

In the NHL, he assisted the Colorado Avalanche, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings. He served two stints as the Avalanche head coach, leading them to the 2003 Northwest Division Championship. Granato has also been an assistant and head coach of Team USA, including as the head man during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Granato was elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.

He comes from a prominent hockey family

Tony Granato is not the only member of his family to make a career out of ice hockey. His brother, Don, also played for the Badgers and later assisted Tony with the program. Don Granato is currently the head coach of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.

Their sister, Cammi, is an inductee in multiple hockey halls of fame. She helped Team USA win the 1998 Olympic gold medal, 2002 Olympic silver medal, and 2005 World Championship. Currently, she is an assistant general manager with the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL.