Shaw out as UND assistant coach

University of North Dakota assistant coach Matt Shaw works with the players during a practice. UND announced Tuesday, April 16, 2019, that it has parted ways with Shaw. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS -- University of North Dakota coach Brad Berry made his first big shakeup after the Fighting Hawks failed to reach the NCAA tournament for a second-straight season.

UND announced Tuesday, April 16, that it has parted ways with assistant coach Matt Shaw.

“We thank coach Shaw for his contributions to North Dakota hockey and wish him the best in future endeavors,” Berry said in a statement.

Shaw was hired in the summer of 2015 after Dave Hakstol left to take the head coaching job with the Philadelphia Flyers. Berry was elevated to head coach and Dane Jackson to associate head coach, opening an assistant position.


UND lured Shaw from his job as the head coach and general manager of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League. It was a bit of an uncommon hire for a program that hasn't often ventured outside of its alumni base for coaches, but Shaw did have a connection: His son, Hayden, was an incoming freshman defenseman at the time.

UND won an NCAA national championship that first year with Shaw on staff, beating Quinnipiac 5-1 in the championship game in Tampa, Fla. It reached the NCAA tournament in 2017, losing to Boston University in double overtime in the first round. The Fighting Hawks have missed the last two NCAA tournaments.

Shaw worked primarily with UND’s forwards and the power play. Last season, UND struggled offensively and the team’s power play finished eighth in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and 52nd of 60 teams overall, converting at 14.2 percent.

Shaw, 53, coached in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils, but he has experience at nearly every level -- NHL, AHL, ECHL, USHL and NCAA.

One of his longtime colleagues, Todd McLellan, was named head coach of the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Shaw coached with McLellan for four years with the Houston Aeros in the AHL and for three years with San Jose.

Who could be next?

UND could go a number of different directions in its search for its next assistant coach.

If it decides to go with a former player, Minnesota Duluth has won back-to-back NCAA national championships with Jason Herter as an associate head coach.


Karl Goehring, the goalie on UND’s 2000 national championship team, previously worked as a volunteer assistant coach with the goaltenders and is now with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Goehring was on staff as a volunteer when UND won the 2016 national title.

Matt Smaby, a former captain, has been a volunteer assistant with the team the last two years. He impressed the staff enough that they gave him a chance to be on the bench during the third period of games.

Pierre-Paul Lamoureux, who previously served as a student assistant at UND, is the associate coach with the Fargo Force, who won the Clark Cup as United States Hockey League champions last season.

Former UND defenseman Aaron Schneekloth is an assistant coach with the Colorado Eagles in the American Hockey League. Schneekloth won back-to-back ECHL titles as a head coach with Colorado in 2017 and 2018. The Eagles changed leagues in the summer of 2018.

Former UND forwards and NCAA champs Jeff and Jason Ulmer both have experience in the coaching world, too. Jeff works with the Arizona Coyotes, while Jason recently served as a volunteer assistant at UND.

UND also could follow a new college hockey trend of targeting a recruiting specialist like Los Angeles Kings scout Tony Gasparini, the son of UND legend Gino Gasparini. Tony had interest last summer from at least one NCAA team.

Three other recruiting specials who had interest from NCHC teams last summer -- but have no connections to UND -- were Peter Mannino, who was hired by Miami but let go this week by new coach Chris Bergeron, Winnipeg Jets scout Max Giese and Dubuque general manager Kalle Larsson.

Two other highly touted assistant coaches from the area include East Grand Forks product Darren Blue and Red Lake Falls product Todd Knott, both of whom are assistants at MSU-Mankato. The Mavericks have won the MacNaughton Cup as Western Collegiate Hockey Association champions in three of the last four years.


The last 10 assistant coach hires for UND were Shaw (2015), Berry (2012), Jackson (2006), Cary Eades (2004), Berry (2000), Hakstol (2000), Jeff Bowen (1997), Mark Osiecki (1996), Scott Sandelin (1994) and Perry Berezan (1993).

All of them except Shaw (U.S. International, Colorado College) and Osiecki (Wisconsin) played at UND. Osiecki, who was an assistant for just the 1996-97 national championship season, is currently an assistant at Wisconsin.

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