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Granato leaving Wings to coach Badgers

Jeff Blashill, Tony Granato

Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, left, and assistant Tony Granato watch their preseason NHL hockey game against the Blackhawks during the third period at Joe Louis Arena Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


Tony Granato is going back to school.

Not in the Rodney Dangerfield way (a fine film), but to become the head coach of the University of Wisconsin Badgers, the school he played for from 1983-87.

His brother, Don, as well as Mark Osiecki, an assistant coach with AHL Rockford, will join him as associates.

Granato will replace recently fired Mike Eaves.

A former head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, with stints as an assistant in both Pittsburgh and most recently Detroit, Granato will be in charge of turning around a program that has fallen on hard times.

It will start with recruiting.

“The dynamics that go along with college hockey have changed,” Granato told the Badgers’ website. “The one thing that hasn’t changed is the game.

“The game is played and you’re successful when you find kids, student-athletes, that are passionate, that understand the excitement part of playing college hockey. We want to get an enthusiastic, passionate group back.”

Granato’s hiring was originally reported on Sunday by ESPN’s John Buccigross.