Alaska Anchorage selects ‘true professional’ Curley as new head coach


Matt Curley was introduced Saturday as the sixth head coach in Alaska Anchorage history.

He replaces Matt Thomas, who was not retained after the 2017-18 season.

Curley comes to UAA with a diverse coaching background, including stints with the USA Hockey’s National Team 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 UAA interim athletic director Tim McDiffett in a statement. “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 [Sam] Gingerich and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity,” added 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 Bull junior team based out of Salzburg, Austria, for the past three seasons.

Curley started his coaching career with a two-year stint (2010-12) as an assistant coach with the U.S. NTDP 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 Granato in a news release. “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.”

Curley was also an assistant coach for two seasons (2013-15) at Bentley.

“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,” noted Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist in a statement. “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 before moving on to Bentley.

A native of Madrid, N.Y., Curley was a four-year letter-winner 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 will begin his coaching duties in early May.