This is the first of a Valentine's Day series during the month of February featuring University of Delaware student-athlete Double Del couples. Stay tuned throughout the month for additional stories.

Missy and Matt Arenz are Double Dels, a unique term coined by the UD for alumni married to other alumni. UD has 22,250 Double Dels, more than 15% of Blue Hen alumni, but Missy and Matt’s story is a bit more unique.

“I was recruited to play field hockey at UD,” Missy said. “Delaware had everything that I wanted academically and athletically, and it was a safe, beautiful campus. It was an environment that I wanted to be in.” Currently in her fifth year as assistant field hockey coach, Missy was a three-time All-CAA player during her tenure with the Blue Hens from 2007-10. She saw action in 74 games and still ranks 13th in school history with 20 career assists.

Meanwhile Matt contributed to the Blue Hens football team as a defensive lineman from 2008-11.

“I knew I wanted to play big-time college football and I also wanted to be able to major in engineering,” he explained. “UD was at the top of its game in both areas. When I got on campus, I just knew that Delaware was the place for me.”

Matt first remembers seeing Missy in the athletic training room, which he frequented due to a bad ACL while Missy received treatment on her hamstrings.

“We formally met at Delaware Christian Athletes (DCA) in 2008, when I was a freshman and she was a sophomore,” Matt reminisced. “From there, we both had breaks in our schedule at the same time and started eating lunch together at Kent Dining Hall every Tuesday and Thursday. That’s how our friendship took off.”

The couple remained friends throughout college, not advancing their relationship until after Missy graduated. Their friendship grew stronger and they kept their lunch tradition alive, frequenting restaurants on Main Street.

“As student athletes, juggling our time was tricky and lunch just became a habit. We genuinely liked hanging out with each other. We both understood the life of a student-athlete and connected,” Missy explained. “My dad coaches football, so I grew up around a lot of football. We also connected over the faith aspect as well.”

The Double Dels’ romantic relationship began after Missy graduated and was a graduate assistant at a different school. Matt was still playing football at UD, but they didn’t lose contact.

“Having that background of college athletics helped our relationship because the average person wouldn’t understand the time commitment that goes into that,” Missy said. “Also, having a strong friendship before we started dating really helped.”

It took being apart from each other for Missy and Matt to realize how special their relationship was.

“When we went on our first date, it was the most comfortable I’ve ever been,” Missy remarked. “It didn’t even feel like a first date, it just felt like we were hanging out.”

Matt agreed.

“Everything felt really comfortable and it was able to progress naturally, it wasn’t forced or awkward,” he explained.

Matt proposed to Missy at the fountain on South Green and they went to Catherine Rooney’s afterward, a place where the two spent a lot of time together during college.

“Our wedding was at the United Methodist Church on Main Street,” Matt reminisced about the couple’s special day. “Then we took photos on Main Street and at the fountain. Our wedding was full of Delaware people and we took an alumni photo together.”

Missy and Matt are expecting a baby girl in the spring and given their background, it’s likely that she will grow up in a similar athletic environment. Missy is enthusiastic about introducing her daughter to UD Athletics.

“We talk about bringing her to UD football games and field hockey games,” she stated. “We see other alumni parents bringing their kids to events and we’re excited to be able to do that. It’s pretty cool.”

Missy and Matt are thankful for their experiences with UD Athletics and feel lucky to still consider it home.

“Delaware Athletics has a sense of pride, you always have your family around you,” Matt said. “Everybody has shared interests and similar goals. It’s a huge part of who we are and it’s something that we don’t want to let go of.”

Missy also explained that the couple will continue giving back to UD, whether with their time or support.

“You’re a part of something that’s much bigger than yourself, it’s something that we were so lucky to have,” Missy said. “The people that it has placed in our lives, including each other, it’s been really special.”

Story written by Summer Haran, UD Athletics Communications Student Intern