From the University of Michigan‘s Kristy McNeil:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan ice hockey head coach Mel Pearson announced Monday (Aug. 16) the hiring of former Wolverine Brandon Naurato as an assistant coach.
“I’m extremely excited to welcome Brandon, his wife Sarah along with their children back to the University of Michigan,” Pearson said. “Brandon will bring a cutting-edge skill development component that is critical to today’s student-athletes as they pursue on ice excellence. He is a ‘think outside the box’ type coach whose goals are to help each individual reach his potential. His past experience working with the Detroit Red Wings and NHL players will greatly benefit our student-athletes. I can’t wait to get to work with Brandon and Billy Muckalt as we embark on what should be another exciting season of Michigan Hockey.”
“It is an honor to have earned the opportunity to come back to Michigan and work with Mel, Billy, and the rest of the hockey staff. The life lessons and relationships that were built during my years in Ann Arbor as a player have helped shape who I am as a person today, and I can’t wait to get started. I am grateful to Coach Pearson and Warde Manuel for the new position and opportunity have a positive impact on all of our student-athletes as players and more importantly, people.”
A native of Livonia, Mich., Naurato spent the last three seasons with the Red Wings, serving as a player development consultant. In his role, he worked with both the Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins coaching staffs to implement individual skill development into the team identity. Year-long individualized plans for each player, team tactics and the identification of current trends through analytics and video analysis were focus areas for Naurato during the season.
Along with running all prospect development for Detroit in the summer months, Naurato owns and manages his own development business, Naurato Consulting. He has enrolled more than 170 junior, college and professional players over the past two years in development programs with a focus 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 32 assists. He helped the Wolverines to the CCHA Championship in 2008, leading to a Frozen Four appearance. Following his collegiate career, he played four years in the pros, making stops at Stockton (ECHL), Toledo (ECHL), Port Huron (IHL), Fort Wayne (CHL) and Dayton (CHL).