Michigan hockey head coach Mel Pearson was fired over the weekend, and while that process took a while it didn’t take long for the university to name who will be head coach in 2022.
Brandon Naurato, an assistant coach on Michigan’s staff last season and previously worked for the Detroit Red Wings, was named interim head coach.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Warde Manuel, the University of Michigan’s Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics, announced Sunday (Aug. 7) that Brandon Naurato will serve as Michigan’s interim ice hockey head coach for the 2022-23 season.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Brandon Naurato’s caliber to lead our ice hockey team for the upcoming year,” said Manuel. “I had conversations with many individuals who care greatly about this program and appreciate the insight they shared. Brandon will do a great job leading the program, and I look forward to our student-athletes and staff benefiting from his leadership.”
“I am honored to lead my alma mater and will give everything I have to what is the most storied program in college hockey,” said Naurato. “I want to thank Warde Manuel and our student-athletes for their trust and look forward to working positively with our talented coaching and support staff.”
A native of Livonia, Michigan, Naurato recently completed his first season on the U-M bench following three years with the Detroit Red Wings organization, where he served as a player development consultant. In that role, he worked with the Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins coaching staffs to incorporate individual player skills into the organizational structure.
Along with running all prospect development for Detroit in the summer months, Naurato worked independently with junior, college and professional players in his development program, focusing on blending technical, tactical and transferable skills. He also spent seven years as the owner and director of Total Package Hockey in Detroit, where he started the first online hockey academy in the United States.
Notable NHL players that have worked with Naurato include Zach Werenski, Quinn Hughes, Dylan Larkin, Jacob Trouba, Jack Hughes, Kyle Connor, JT Compher and Andrew Copp.
Naurato played four years at Michigan, from 2006-09, making the NCAA Tournament all four years. In 130 career games, he scored 32 goals and registered 32 assists. He helped the Wolverines to the CCHA Championship in 2008, which led to a Frozen Four appearance. He played four years in the pros, making stops at Stockton (ECHL), Toledo (ECHL), Port Huron (IHL), Fort Wayne (CHL), and Dayton (CHL).
Michigan’s season begins on October 1 with an exhibition game against Windsor (time to be determined) before the regular season commences on October 7-8 with a home series against Lindenwood.