Coachella Valley hockey team hires 1st woman assistant coach for NHL's top minor league

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Thursday, July 7, 2022
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The Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League announced the hiring of Jessica Campbell, making her the first woman assistant coach in the league's history.

PALM DESERT, Calif. (KABC) -- A hockey coach in the Coachella Valley is breaking barriers.

The Coachella Valley Firebirds announced Tuesday the hiring of Jessica Campbell.

Campbell will be the first female assistant coach ever in the American Hockey League.

"I think that's what's most exciting about the opportunity, is the visibility for young girls and boys, to be honest, to be able to see it. And now they can believe in it," Campbell said. "I never saw a female coach, so I never dreamt of being a coach."

The Canadian native is a former professional hockey player. She won the Canadian Women's Hockey Championship's Clarkson Cup and played for Canada at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship.

With decades of experience, Campbell said she's eager to make an impact with the Firebirds.

The Firebirds' inaugural season starts in the fall.

The team is the 32nd AHL team and the affiliate of the National Hockey League's Seattle Kraken.