Jessica Campbell becomes AHL's 1st female assistant coach
The Coachella Valley Firebirds, AHL affiliate of the Seattle Kraken, named Jessica Campbell an assistant coach Tuesday, making her the first woman to hold a full-time position behind the bench in league history.
"I'm very excited, it feels like it's going to be a really good fit," said Campbell. "I am thrilled to join the Kraken organization. Everybody's been so fantastic through the process."
Campbell is a former Team Canada player and spent last season as skills coach for the DEL's Nurnberg Ice Tigers. She also served as an assistant coach for Germany at the 2022 world championship.
The 30-year-old hopes to be a role model for young women in the sport.
"I always had a belief as a young girl, playing boys' hockey until I was 17, that I was equal and capable too. I've never focused on my gender," Campbell told ESPN's Emily Kaplan.
"Growing up, I never dreamed of coaching, because I didn't see it and therefore didn't know what that path looked like. But for young athletes now, it's so important to have that visibility for them to understand they can literally be anything they want. Some of the guys I will be coaching, their daughters can now watch them have a female coach. And that opens up the conversation, which can inspire young girls for something they might not have seen as possible."
The 2022-23 season will be the Firebirds' first in the AHL. The club hired former NHL bench boss Dan Bylsma as head coach.