Your Connection To Jazz, Blues and NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Jessica Campbell hired as 1st female assistant coach in AHL

Jessica Campbell Hockey
Martin Meissner
/
AP
Germany's assistant coach Jessica Campbell watches a screen behind players at the German bench during the group A Hockey World Championship match between France and Germany in Helsinki, Finland, Monday May 16, 2022. The Coachella Valley Firebirds, which will be the AHL affiliate for the Seattle Kraken starting this fall, have hired Jessica Campbell as the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach.

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach.

Jessica Campbell spent the past year working with the Tri-City Storm of the USHL development program and she was an assistant coach with Germany at the IIHF men’s world championships.

Coachella Valley is set to begin its first season this fall as the AHL affiliate for the Seattle Kraken.

“Jessica’s skill and talent for developing players who understand all aspects of the game and what it takes to be successful on and off the ice is her strength,” Coachella Valley coach Dan Bylsma said. “She has a passion for developing all aspects of the game and creating players with impact.”

Seattle general manager Ron Francis said Bylsma asked whether the Kraken were open to all candidates after he was hired as the head coach of the Firebirds and was drawn to Campbell’s background as a skating coach. Seattle had previously hired Hall of Famer Cammi Granato as one of its first pro scouts before the team ever took the ice.

“We think that (Campbell) brings a lot of good attributes to the position and we think that she can work with our young players and make them better, and we wouldn’t have hired if we didn’t think she was capable of doing that,” Francis said. “So we’re excited that she’s the first, but that’s not why we hired her. We hired her because she’s capable of doing the job and making us better.”

Campbell was part of the Canadian national team program and played three seasons for the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She also played collegiately at Cornell.

The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.