Former Michigan forward Scott Matzka passed away Sunday after a courageous battle with ALS.
He was 40.
“Scott was a great player, tremendous teammate and true champion,” said Wolverines coach Mel Pearson in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with the Matzka family during this difficult time.”
Matzka was a four-year letter-winner at Michigan, where he amassed 91 points (35 goals, 56 assists) from 1997 to 2001. His most productive season was as a junior when he compiled 15 goals and 45 points in 1999-2000.
He was a member of the 1998 NCAA national championship team and assisted on Josh Langfeld’s overtime game-winning goal in the national championship game against Boston College.
Matzka went on to have a 12-year professional career with stints in the AHL, ECHL and overseas.
Once learning of his diagnoses with ALS, Matzka made it his mission to raise awareness for ALS with his “My Turn” foundation.
“It is always hard to judge because awareness can’t really be measured,” Matzka told MGoBlue.com this past fall. “‘My Turn’ is an awareness campaign. We’ve raised money for several organizations and partnered with the Susan Mast ALS Foundation (in Grand Rapids, Mich.) to start the My Turn Project Fund to help others with ALS in western Michigan with construction projects. In my mind, we’ve been very successful educating and informing people about ALS and raised significant funds to help with my care.”
Matzka is survived by his wife Catie, nine-year-old daughter, Reese, and six-year-old son, Owen.