PALM SPRINGS, CA – The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired the first assistant coach for the American Hockey League.
Jessica Campbell spent the past year working with Tri-City Storm for the USHL development program and 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 an affiliate of the AHL in the Seattle Kraken.
“Jessica’s skill and talent for developing players who understand all aspects of the game and what it takes to succeed on and off the ice is her strength,” Coach Dan Bilsma said. “She has a passion for developing all aspects of the game and creating impactful players.”
Seattle general manager Ron Francis said Bielma asked if the Kraken was open to all candidates after he was named head coach for the Firebirds and was drawn to Campbell’s background as a ski coach. Seattle had previously hired Hall of Famer Cammi Granato as one of the first professional scouts before the team ever took the ice.
“We think she (Campbell) brings a lot of good qualities to the position and we think she can work with our young players and make them better, and we wouldn’t have hired if we didn’t think she was able to do that,” Francis said. . We hired her because she can do the job and make us better.”
Campbell was part of the Canadian national team program and played three seasons in Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She also played a group role on Cornell.