Madison, WI – UW Athletic Director Chris McIntosh has made waves in the Wisconsin athletic department in his year and a half with the school.
From making a splash hire to parting with a longtime head coach, Wisconsin’s AD has made it clear that competing at a championship level is the expectation.
McIntosh has made some tough decisions at UW, but he’s handled these decisions gracefully. The shakeups could seem drastic to some, but Wisconsin’s AD is not one to shy away from making these moves.
Simply put, McIntosh is setting a precedent for UW athletics.
Chris McIntosh fires Tony Granato
The most recent shakeup came on Monday afternoon as former men’s hockey head coach Tony Granato was relieved of his duties.
The news was made official by the Wisconsin athletics account.
Statement from Director of Athletics Chris McIntosh on change in leadership of the men's hockey program pic.twitter.com/GPNVrpgOFy
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) March 6, 2023
In his time with the Badgers, Granato posted a 105-129-16 record while going 65-87-12 in conference play.
In the press conference following the firing, McIntosh said, “I believe our men’s hockey program can consistently compete at a championship level. My intention is to find a coach that will lead the effort to get us there.”
McIntosh wants the Wisconsin hockey program to return to its glory days, and he jump-started that mission by letting go of Tony Granato. The message is clear: UW will no longer be complacent in fighting for conference titles.
Although Granato was a Wisconsin guy through and through, results matter at the end of the day. Now, McIntosh will look to bring in a coach to elevate Wisconsin’s hockey program back to title contention.
Chris McIntosh makes a home run hire in Luke Fickell
McIntosh made a splash hire by bringing in Luke Fickell to take over as the Badgers football head coach in a move that could define his career as Wisconsin’s athletic director.
Former Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard seemed to be a shoo-in for the head coaching job. However, McIntosh took a big swing and landed the former Cincinnati Bearcats head coach.
The move stunned the UW faithful, but a chain reaction quickly began. Recruits and transfers began committing to UW, thoroughly shaking up the program.
After a season that was far from pretty, McIntosh recognized a change was necessary and looked at all of his options. Rather than sticking with the Badgers legend, Wisconsin’s AD took a home run swing, which paid off.
Wisconsin’s football program will be under new direction in 2023. McIntosh may have brought the Badgers back into Big Ten contention–and potentially national championship contention–with a move that could define his legacy. The future looks to be a bright one for the football program, and McIntosh made it happen.
Times are changing in Madison, and the standard has been raised. The goal is no longer just conference contention; it’s time UW competes for the whole damn thing.
McIntosh is setting a precedent, and he’s shown he is ready to do what it takes to make it happen. Wisconsin’s AD has not shied away from a challenge, and he’s making his mark on UW athletics.
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