Don Granato, Brother of Pens Assistant Coach Tony Granato, Named USNTDP Head Coach
/ Pittsburgh Penguins
Coaching certainly runs in the Granato family.
Don Granato, the younger brother of Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato, was named head coach of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (USNTDP) in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Monday.
Don Granato, who has 15 seasons of coaching experience at multiple levels, will guide the U.S. National Under-17 Team during the 2011-12 season as one of two head coaches at the USNTDP.
It’s the same post that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes occupied for six seasons prior to joining the Penguins organization in 2009.
Granato, 44, began coaching in 1993. The Downers Grove, Ill., native was the first-ever coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he twice led the team to two Anderson Cup titles as regular season champions and also coached them to a Clark Cup as playoff champion.
After spending three seasons in the ECHL – winning a Kelly Cup with the Peoria Rivermen in 2000 – Granato moved to the American Hockey League (AHL), where he won the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the most outstanding coach in 2001 with the Worcester IceCats.
He spent four seasons with the IceCats, the minor-league affiliate of the St. Louis Blues, from 2000-05, becoming the winningest coach in franchise history with a 191-130-45-14 record.
After serving as an assistant coach for St. Louis in 2005-06, Granato was head coach of the Chicago Wolves, then the minor-league affilate of the Atlanta Thrashers, from 2008-10. He spent last season as a scout with the Vancouver Canucks.