UAA hockey opens coaching candidate forum with familiar face

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 10:34 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The search for the University of Alaska Anchorage hockey’s seventh head coach has been narrowed down to three finalists, and the program began open forums with a candidate who is familiar with the Seawolves and Alaska hockey.

Matt Shasby, a former UAA skater from 1999-2003, took questions from fans, alumni and community members via Zoom on Wednesday as the first of three forums scheduled this week.

Shasby’s deep Alaska hockey roots began as a player for Chugiak High School, before his leadership led him to being tabbed Captain of the Seawolves his senior year. As a professional, the Eagle River native suited up nearly 300 games with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, tallying 182 regular-season points. In his post-playing career, Shasby has remained in Alaska and currently serves as the vice president of player development for Alaska and is a coach for Anchorage Hockey Association.

During the hour-long forum, Shasby’s points of emphasis included community engagement, education and a strong coaching staff. Shasby, 41, is a seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher at Norther Lights ABC and has a bachelor’s degree in history from UAA in 2008 and a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Phoenix.

With plans to return to the ice for the 2022-23 season, UAA student athletes will be arriving on campus in less than a year.

As the program was reinstated on Aug. 31, the incoming UAA hockey coach will inherit multiple challenges and obstacles. The Seawolves will have to recruit an entire roster, formulate an independent schedule, finalize where they will be playing home games, all while operating on a $1.5 million budget for the season.

Buffalo State College head coach Steve Murphy will host his forum at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, while former New York University coach Chris Cosentino is slated for 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

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