Campbell joins Firebirds as assistant coach

Photo: Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

The Seattle Kraken have named Jessica Campbell to the position of assistant coach of their new American Hockey League affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

Campbell will be the first female assistant coach in the AHL.

“We’re very excited to welcome Jessica to the Kraken organization,” said general manager Ron Francis. “She played the game at a high level and that experience is evident in the way she coaches. Her knowledge of the game and ability to communicate and teach will be important assets in the development of our prospects in the American Hockey League.”

Campbell joins Firebirds head coach Dan Bylsma on Coachella Valley’s inaugural coaching staff.

“I am thrilled to join the Kraken organization and work with Dan and his staff,” said Campbell. “I am excited to bring in a new coaching perspective and to be able to teach our players the necessary tools and skills to impact players every night while raising the bar for what we can achieve as a team this season.”

“Jessica’s skill and talent for developing players who understand all aspects of the game and what it takes to be successful on and off the ice is her strength,” said Bylsma. “She has a passion for developing all aspects of the game and creating players with impact. We are focused on building a culture of impact, skill, and tenacity for both the Coachella Valley Firebirds and the Seattle Kraken and know Jessica’s talent and vision will help us establish that culture.”

Campbell, 30, became as the first female coach in the history of the IIHF Men’s World Championship when she served as an assistant with Germany at the 2022 event in May. She spent the 2021-22 season as an assistant and skills coach with the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the top men’s league in Germany, and was president of the Windy City Storm/Chicago Young Americans girls’ hockey program.

A native of Rocanville, Sask., Campbell played three seasons professionally with the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, winning a Clarkson Cup championship in 2016. She starred collegiately at Cornell University, and represented Canada internationally at several events, including the IIHF Women’s World Championship and the 4 Nations Cup.