Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's official: Don Granato new Wolves coach

(Photo from the Chicago Wolves website.)

As expected, today Don Granato was named head coach of the Chicago Wolves. The position became open when former head coach John Anderson became head coach of the Atlanta Thrasher.

The Wolves website has the official announcement, including a profile of Granato and some nice quotes by Wolves GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

“When we began our search for a new head coach, we wanted a person who embodied the “Five C's” that we felt were important to continue the growth of the franchise, while maintaining our expectation of excellence: confidence, conviction, communication, character and championships. After the extensive interview process, it was clear that Don was the perfect man for the job,” said Wolves General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

“He is a person that is very confident with undertaking the job at hand and with the high standards of excellence demanded of all Wolves employees. He has strong convictions on how the game should be played and on how to lead people, and is an excellent communicator with a proven history of teaching and developing talent. Don is also a person of extremely strong character and has a very well rounded coaching and playing career with extensive championship experience.”

The Daily Herald also has a nice article today, including a few more quotes from Cheveldayoff, as well as some quotes from Don himself.

"And I think this announcement today brings another level of excitement because one of Chicago's own Donny Granato - born, raised, played hockey here - is now coaching one of the preeminent teams in the Chicago area."

"He has a proven track record of developing young players," Cheveldayoff said. "He has a proven track record of winning championships. Everything he's done, he's done to the utmost extreme."

"Going into games, and I mentioned this to Don (Levin), I would always have a thought, 'Boy, it'd be nice to coach here,'" said Granato, 40. "Then immediately I would say, 'You know what? Don't even think about it. You have a job to do. You have a job to do.'"

"This is a great challenge; the expectations here are very high," he said. "That, to me, I've always had higher expectations of myself than anyone else. To come in here, I have to do my job. I believe in myself and my job and the job I do. That will be my focus."