|Alma Mater:||North Dakota|
Former North Dakota captain and NHL defenseman Matt Smaby returned to the program in 2017-18 after retiring from an 11-year professional playing career. Smaby will serve as a student manager while completing his bachelor’s degree in communication.
A native of Minneapolis, Smaby played at UND from 2003-04 through 2005-06 and captained the 2005-06 squad to a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four. After leading the program to a pair of Frozen Four appearances and a Western Collegiate Hockey Association title in his three seasons, Smaby went on to play in 122 games over four years with the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning.
“We are really looking forward to Matt and his family coming back to Grand Forks,” said UND head coach Brad Berry at the time of Smaby's hiring. “North Dakota hockey and UND are, and always have been, a very special place for Matt. He will be a tremendous asset to our program over the next couple of years as he completes his education.”
Smaby’s North American playing career also included stints with Norfolk and Syracuse in the American Hockey League. He spent the past four years playing in Germany with Munich EHC and won the league championship in each of his last two seasons.
He and his wife, Jenna, have two children: daughter Sloane (5) and son Jack (4).