ANCHORAGE – Matt Curley has been named the sixth head hockey coach at the University of Alaska Anchorage interim chancellor Sam Gingerich announced Saturday.
Curley comes to UAA with a diverse coaching background, including stints with the USA National Development Program, USHL, NCAA, and most recently in the European ranks.
"We're pleased and proud to introduce Matt Curley as the new head coach of Seawolf hockey,” said interim athletic director Tim McDiffett. “It became clear after talking with Matt and his mentors, that he possesses a great hockey mind and was focused on preparing himself to be an NCAA Division I head hockey coach. He has coaching experience at the highest levels of USA Hockey and took a chance on himself by moving his family to Austria so he could get head coaching experience. Today UAA is the beneficiary of that investment and belief in himself."
“I would like to thank chancellor Gingerich and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity,” said Matt Curley. “I am excited and honored to be the next head coach of the Seawolf hockey program. Through hard work, dedication and a pursuit of excellence I will lead the charge to turn the UAA program in a positive direction to compete in the WCHA and in the nation. My family and I are excited to join the Alaska family.”
Curley has served as the head coach of the EC Red Bulls Juniors team based out of Salzburg, Austria, for the past three seasons. The team is comprised of international players under the age of 20 and competes in the Alps Hockey League. EC Red Bulls is one of two development teams, with the rest being professional, in the AHL which is comprised of 17 teams from Austria, Italy and Slovenia. EC Red Bulls finished seventh in the league with a 23-17 mark and a birth in the playoffs in 2017-18. The team posted a 6-6 mark competing in a tournament with other Finish Under-20 teams.
Numerous EC Red Bulls have represented their national teams at both the junior and senior levels and at the professional level. Curley was instrumental in the development of goalie Woulter Peeters, who was a 2016 third-round NHL draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks and is currently playing in the USHL. Several other players have continued their playing careers at the NCAA and USHL ranks.
Curley started his coaching career with a two-year stint (2010-12) as an assistant coach with the US National Team Development Program working under Don Granato, who is currently an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Matt exemplifies what Team USA is about, pride, work ethic, intelligence and passion to do things the right way,” said Don Granato. “Matt is a great leader. When we worked together with Team USA I gave him the freedom to work with players as a group and individually because of his ability to communicate and motivate players.”
He helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2011 Under-18 World Championships in Crimmitschau, Germany, and a silver medal at the 2012 Under-17 World Championships in Windsor, Canada. Curley added two more medals at the international level with Team USA, winning silver at the 2013 Under-18 World Championships in Sochi, Russia, and a gold at the 2015 Under-18 World Championships in Zug, Switzerland. The USA National Development posted a mark of 56-54-3 in the United States Hockey League while Curley was an assistant coach.
Curley was also an assistant coach for two seasons (2013-15) at Bentley University, where the Falcons posted a 36-29-9 record during Curley’s time in Waltham, Mass.
“Matt is a true professional who is extremely driven for success and is willing to work as hard as it takes to overcome any obstacles,” said Bentley head coach Ryan Soderquist. “The Anchorage community is getting one of the most passionate and determined coaches out there.”
Curley spent one year (2012-13) as an assistant coach with the Indiana Ice of the USHL, helping them to a 21-37-1 mark before moving on to Bentley.
Curley, a native of Madrid, New York, was a four-year letterwinner as a defenseman at Clarkson, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history/law and business administration. As a senior, he served as an assistant captain and led the Golden Knights to an ECAC Tournament Championship and an NCAA Tournament Appearance.
He and his wife, Samantha, have two children, Tess (six) and Jack (four).
He will begin his coaching duties in early May.