Jessica Campbell hired as 1st AHL assistant coach

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FILE – Germany’s assistant coach Jessica Campbell stands behind the players on the German bench during the World Hockey Championship Group A match between France and Germany in Helsinki, Finland on Monday May 16, 2022. The Coachella Valley Firebirds have signed Jessica Campbell as a player for the American Hockey League. first female assistant coach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

PA

The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach.

Jessica Campbell is ready to seize the opportunity.

“I’ve spent a little more time on development the last three years and really tried to create the opportunities and the growth for myself, and the knowledge to put me in that position,” Campbell said. “So I’m very happy to be able to bring that to Coachella.”

Campbell, whose hire was announced Tuesday, has spent the past year working with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm development program and served as an assistant coach with Germany at the IIHF World Men’s Championships.

Coachella Valley is set to enter its first season this fall as the Seattle Kraken’s AHL affiliate.

“All the signs and all the indications of what we were looking for in a coach kind of led me to Jess and led to our conversations, and led to us making him our first assistant coach,” the coach said. of Coachella Valley, Dan Bylsma.

Bylsma was drawn to Campbell’s background as a skating coach. He first contacted Campbell in an email sent to a generic email address for Campbell’s skating school.

His first thought: “Is this spam?”

“It was special because obviously I was in a position where I was looking for that next step,” Campbell said.

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.

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

Seattle had already hired Hall of Famer Cammi Granato as one of its first professional scouts before the team took to the ice.

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