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Jessica Campbell: Kraken's Trailblazing Coach


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Vince Carbonneau
July 4, 2024  (11:29)
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Jessica Campbell
Photo credit: ESPN

New Kraken Coach

Jessica Campbell became the first full-time female assistant coach in NHL history when the Seattle Kraken officially named her to the position on Wednesday. «I'm humbled, obviously, to be in this position,» Campbell stated. «You speak to the word first, to be the first, but that's never really been where my focus is. It's always on the work, it's on the impact, it's on the job.»
Diversity and innovative thinking have been key principles for the Kraken organization from the beginning. In this case, they are simply choosing the best person for the job. An accomplished college player before entering the coaching world, Campbell spent the last two seasons as an assistant to Kraken head coach Dan Bylsma with the AHL's Coachella Valley Firebirds.
«Jessica and I spent the last two years coaching in Coachella Valley,» said Bylsma. «I'm confident in what she can do for our staff and bring to the players. I watched her build strong relationships with prospects such as Tye Kartye, Shane Wright, and Ryker Evans. She has the ability to relate to players about their games and what they bring to a team.»
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Campbell previously coached in the top men's German League and has been a successful independent skating and skills mentor to NHL players.
### New Trends
Women have risen to assistant general manager positions around the NHL, including former Kraken scout and current Vancouver Canucks executive Cammi Granato. Now, a woman will stand night-to-night behind an NHL bench.
It's high profile. Many eyes will be on her. One might even call Campbell a beacon—a source of light or inspiration. She's fully aware of the potential impact she could have on others that may follow her.
«Just to believe anything is possible,» Campbell said. «I've, maybe in a naïve way, had the courage to believe that this could be possible. And even though I didn't see it, I believed I could do it. I think with that inner belief, whatever it is, in sport, in life, you can create whatever you believe in.
«I'm happy to be able to play that role.»
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Jessica Campbell: Kraken's Trailblazing Coach

Do you think Jessica Campbell's hiring will inspire more women to pursue coaching in the NHL?

Yes16100 %
No00 %
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