Jessica Campbell hired as 1st female assistant coach in AHL
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.