Prior to his time at SVSU, Hammer spent two years at Aberdeen Central High School in South Dakota where he wwas the assistant coach to Brent Norberg. Before that, Hammer was a Graduate Assistant for two seasons at his alma mater of Northern State University under coaching legend Don Meyer.
Prior to entering the coaching field, Hammer played professionally for FSU in Selfoss, Iceland for one season after completing his outstanding career at Northern State. While at NSU, he was named to the 2005 Daktronics DII North Central Region First Team. He also became just the second member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference to be named Player of the Year and NSIC Tournament MVP in the same season. He left Northern State ranked 13th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,686 points. Hammer prepped at Elkton High School in South Dakota where he was named Mr. Basketball in 2002. Matt received his Bachelor of Science and Physical Education from Northern State in 2007, while also completing his Masters in Health, Physical Eduation, and Coaching at NSU in 2010.
Coach Smiley had this to say about Matt: “Matt has been a personal friend and former teammate of mine, and I’ve followed his career ever since he finished his playing days years ago. He has a wealth of knowledge to share with our guys from both a coaching and playing perspective, and his enthusiasm and professionalism will be infectious amongst our team and in our department. He also will be able to bring new ideas to the court, and a new network of recruiting from his overseas experiences and his connections in the Midwest from recruiting around the Detroit – Cleveland – Indianapolis – Cleveland areas recently. When our Assistant Position opened up, Matt was the type of person and coach that fit into all of the criteria that I was looking for.”