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2022 MWC | Don Granato

Don Granato, head coach of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, is serving as an assistant coach of a U.S. Men’s National Team for third time after fulfilling the same capacity in 2018 (bronze medal) and 2014. Granato’s experience on the international stage also includes having led the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team to gold (2015) and silver (2013) medal finishes at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship as head coach, while also serving as an assistant for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team.

Granato also served as a head coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program from 2011-17 and during that time guided the NTDP’s U.S. National Under-18 Team to a pair of championships at the Under-18 Four Nations Tournament (2012, 2014) in addition to leading the U.S. National Under-17 Team to titles at the Four Nations Tournament (2013), World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2013) and Under-17 Five Nations Tournament (2014). In 2012-13, Granato helped the U.S. National Under-18 Team register an 11-6-4 (W-L-T) record against NCAA Division I and III schools, the best winning percentage (.619) against collegiate opponents in the history of the NTDP.

Granato is in his first season as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. He came to the Sabres as an assistant coach in 2019-20 and was named interim head coach on March 17, 2021.

Prior to that, he spent two seasons as assistant coach of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and one season as associate head coach with the University of Wisconsin’s men’s hockey team after his six-season stint with the NTDP.

The Downers Grove, Ill., native’s career has also included stops as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues (2005-06) and head coach for the Chicago Wolves (2008-10). Granato also served as head coach of the Worcester IceCats from 2000-2005, where he received the AHL’s Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the league’s most outstanding coach. He also coached three seasons in the ECHL with the Columbus Chill (1997-99) and Peoria Rivermen (1999-2000), following four seasons in the USHL with the Wisconsin Capitols (1993-94) and Green Bay Gamblers (1994-97). He led Peoria to the 2000 ECHL Kelly Cup championship and claimed the 1996 USHL Clark Cup championship with Green Bay.  

Before joining the coaching ranks, Granato played professionally for two seasons with Columbus (ECHL) from 1991-93, posting 26 goals and 64 assists in 103 career games. Collegiately, he skated four seasons (1987-91) at the University of Wisconsin, where he compiled 88 points (45G, 43A) in 162 career games highlighted by a national championship with the Badgers in 1990.