Here at Cincinnati Moms Blog, we are huge fans of our city…and the lovely people who also call it home. Our “Faces of Cincinnati” series will introduce you to some of these people, as we ask them about Cincinnati traditions, their local profession and even the biggest rivalry known to man…Skyline vs. Gold Star!
We begin this series with Matt Macdonald, head coach of the Cincinnati Cyclones! We love our local sports teams at CMB, as they give us plenty of quality family time no matter what the season. Because of this, we were thrilled to have a chance to chat with Matt about all things Cincinnati!
A Little Background
I’ve called Cincinnati home for a total of eight years, meeting my wife, Erin (one of CMB’s wonderful contributors!), during my third year playing for the Cyclones. We moved to Europe for three years before deciding to come back to my hometown hockey team as an assistant coach. My first year as a professional hockey coach was topped off with the birth of our daughter, Hazel. For two seasons I was the assistant coach and just weeks before our son, Max, was born, I was given the responsibility of head coach. We’ve planted roots in Mason and are raising our two kids to love this area along with its small business scene – Erin works for FamilyTech, the makers of the ChoreMonster app, and we are big believers in the local startup! I spend a lot of time at US Bank Arena and on the road. A season is 72 games from October through April and half of those are on the road, in places like Fort Wayne, Indiana and even Anchorage, Alaska. But, even though I originally came back here for work, I’ve started to see Cincinnati and all it has to offer as home.
The Cincinnati Kid
I’ve lived in a few different areas of Cincinnati since first moving here in 2006. After moving away for a few years and then having the opportunity to come back, there was no hesitation to make this place home. Cincinnati has been an amazing city in which to raise my children. We chose to settle in Mason, my wife is from Mason, so having that background information, and the family support, it was an easy decision to make. Every day you can find different events and places that encourage activities for families and children to grow physically and emotionally. It’s a great place for us to help boost their self esteem and spend time with others.
There are so many great things to do here as a family. It’s a completely different place for me now that I’m a dad. Most of my favorite things to do revolve around summer activities because my winter schedule is so packed. We love to see the Reds play and go to the Cincinnati Zoo. We are season ticket holders to Kings Island and try to get to the Newport Aquarium now and then. My kids are involved in the Tumble Bees program at Kids First, participate in Soccer Shots for team building, and love to visit the local public libraries. My family comes to every home Cincinnati Cyclones game as well, so we’re also always busy with hockey.
I was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and have gotten the chance to travel to almost every state and across a lot of Canada because of hockey. My wife and I lived in Italy, twice, and Denmark while I was still playing and I was able to travel to over 10 countries during that time. A little closer to home, I was playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones in 2008 when we won the Kelly Cup Championship. The week following, with the parade and support from the community, was a great experience and something I’d love to bring back to the city.
While growing up, I always wanted to be a police officer. I always thought that was a very important role in the community. They are the people who are always helping others and keeping society on the right path. As I grew up, I started to follow a different dream. I was picked in an underage draft for one the best junior hockey leagues in North America but chose to attend university when given a full scholarship to play Division I hockey. Even at university, I wasn’t under the impression that hockey would become a career, but it was the first time I imagined myself coaching. I was surprised when someone gave me the opportunity to play professionally, but never looked back. I played for seven years in Lubbock, Texas, Cincinnati, Rockford, Illinois, Portland, Maine, two small mountain towns in Italy and a town just as small in Southern Denmark. The longer I played, I knew coaching would somehow be my next step. I came back to the organization that I had so much success with and in a town I started to think of as home. I’m now in my fifth year as a coach for the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Cincinnati is for Lovers
Cincinnati is a small-big city and that’s why I love it so much. The city is spread out with plenty to do like a big city, but anywhere you go, people are personable and that makes the city feel like a small town. It’s clean, safe, and improving all the time. When I first came here, The Banks and riverfront weren’t anything like they are today. It’s one of my favorite places. You can get anything and everything you want in Cincinnati; you can find your small, quiet places to go and enjoy conversation with friends, or the loud, upbeat bar with people crammed in from wall to wall, all on the same street. It has multiple major league sports, surrounded by many different historical buildings. There’s fancy dining or dives for unreal burgers and beers. It is a complete city.
Skyline vs. Gold Star
Skyline. In my eight years living here, there has only been one way to go.
My mom is amazing for many different reasons. She was always the person that believed in me and supported me in my decisions. She has been a sounding board for me when I needed to vent after a stressful day and she was always the person who would set me straight when I was out of line or not being realistic in my worries. My mom is a very intelligent, powerful, motivated woman who continues to prove to people that education and hard work can give you many things in life. Her growth has never stopped. She is still constantly taking higher education courses and working to continue her success. While striving for what she wanted professionally, she was able to raise three boys and help us maintain focus on our goals and help us achieve them. I love her very much and am blessed to call her mom.
Cincinnati Moms Blog would like to thank Matt for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts. And…Go Cyclones!