For the first time in program history, each member of the full-time coaching staff owns an NCAA title as a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin. One of those is Matt Walsh, who was a defenseman on the Badgers' 1983 NCAA championship team.
Like Head Coach Mike Eaves and assistant coach Gary Shuchuk, Walsh coaches at his alma mater to share the great tradition of Badger hockey. He is in his second full season as a Wisconsin assistant coach.
Walsh joined the Badgers on Nov. 23, 2012, a day Wisconsin skated at the Kohl Center against Minnesota State. UW fell that night and the next and dropped to 1-7-2 on the season, but with the help of Walsh, the team turned it around, going 21-6-5 the rest of the way. During that four-month surge, the Badgers defense would finish as the WCHA's stingiest by allowing just 2.29 goals-against per game in league contests. That helped the team capture the Broadmoor Trophy as 2013 WCHA Playoff champions. They would also capture the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field in Chicago with a 3-2 victory over Minnesota in front of over 52,000 people.
A member of Wisconsin's 1983 NCAA championship team as a freshman defenseman, Walsh played for the Badgers from 1982-86, winning the WHA-TV Jim Santulli Seventh-Man Award his senior season. In four seasons with the Badgers, Walsh scored eight goals, recorded 54 assists and tallied 62 points in 164 games. Immediately following his collegiate career, Walsh began his coaching career.
From 1995 to 2012, Walsh worked with USA Hockey Inc., in a number of roles, including coach, advisor and evaluator. As Coach-in-Chief of the Central District, he was responsible for coordinating and implementing coaching seminars for USA Hockey's Coaching Education Program over a six-state area. In 2003, Walsh traveled to Veruimaki, Finland, to represent the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program at IIHF World Development Camp. Walsh also worked with USA Hockey Inc., to evaluate and select players to represent the Central District of USA Hockey Select 15, 16 and 17 festivals, as well as coaching the Central District Team. Walsh led the Central District 15 Team to a gold medal in 1998 and silver in 1997, while also leading the Central District 16 Team to silver medals in both 2001 and 2002.
Working for the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association, Walsh served as head coach for Team Wisconsin from 1991-96 and 1998-99. Prior to head coaching, he was assistant coach for Team Wisconsin from 1988-90. Evaluating, selecting and coaching the top 20 high school seniors in the state, Walsh guided his athletes through the Chicago Showcase National High School Hockey Tournament to quarter finalist appearances from 1988-94, a semi-finalist finish in 1996 and finished runner-up in 1998.
Walsh coached hockey on the prep level for many years, serving as head coach at Stoughton High School from 1991-93, assistant coach at Madison Lafollette High School from 1989-91 and Madison Memorial High School from 1987-89.
Walsh and his wife, Anne, reside in Waunakee, Wisconsin, with sons Connor, Nate and Sammy.