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Jessica Campbell hired as 1st female assistant coach in AHL

JUNE 5, 2022


Germany's assistant coach Jessica Campbell stands behind players on 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 have hired Jessica Campbell as the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

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

Jessica Campbell is ready for the opportunity.

“I’ve been spending a little bit more of my time on the development side the past three years and truly trying to create the opportunities and the growth for myself, and the knowledge to put myself in this position,” Campbell said. “So I’m very excited to be able to bring that to Coachella.”

Campbell, whose hiring was announced Tuesday, has 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.

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

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

Her first thought, “Is this spam?”

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