The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Monday that they have hired Kendall Coyne Schofield to be a Player Development Coach & Youth Hockey Growth Specialist. She is the first woman to hold that position in the 94 years that the Blackhawks have been in existence.
Coyne, as a Player Development Coach, alone with Eric Condra, a former NHL player, hired for that role, will assist the coaching staff of Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs, in the skills development of current players, while also evaluating, assessing and scouting potential prospects.
Her position of Youth Hockey Growth Specialist formalizes a role that the had previously held for the Blackhawks organization as a local community liaison, but now this role is formalized.
She will continue to work “on grassroots youth hockey programs and clinics, implementation of girls’ hockey programming and the continued enhancement of her namesake all-girls program ‘Golden Coynes.’”
“What interests me is being able to help this organization win a Stanley Cup… To be in a role to help develop those next generation of players who are going to want to raise the cup is phenomenal.”
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 23, 2020
Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman discussed the new hires of Coyne and others.
“Adding talented people with diverse and multi-faceted backgrounds like Kendall, Erik and Juan [Gonzalez as the Rockford Ice Hog’s Strength & Conditioning Coach] enhances our operations as we assess the changing landscape of hockey at all levels and continue to build and maintain a system of elite hockey. “Each of these individuals brings unique experience to their position, and we are excited to welcome them to the Blackhawks family.”
Coyne herself talked about the opportunity with Emily Kaplan of ESPN.
“Knowing there are going to be people watching me on the ice, and seeing a woman in a coaching role, just shows what’s possible for the next generation. That’s what excites me.”
In another interview on Monday, Coyne said “While I may be first female coach a lot of these players have worked with, I don’t see it being an issue. Through my hockey career, I’ve been on the ice with so many players and I’ve earned the respect of those players through my skill, through my merit, and that’s what they’re going to see me as when I walk through the door as a coach.”
Coyne, a native of Palos Heights, Illinois who graduated from Sandburg High in Orland Park, Illinois, has represented the USA I the Olympics twice, bringing home a Gold Medal in 2018 (PyeongChang) and a Silver Medel in 2014 (Sochi). She played in college for Northeastern University, served as Captain for two seasons, and won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top player in women’s college hockey for the 2015-16 season during her senior year. She was a finalist for that report two other seasons. She also holds six gold medals and one silver from the Women’s World Championship.
On January 25, 2019, Coyne became the first woman to compete in the National Hockey League’s All-Stars skills competition, posting a time of 14.326 seconds in the fastest-skater challenge. She had entered the contest as a last minute replacement.
She has also held broadcasting jobs for NBC Sports and the San Jose Sharks, serving as an analyst for the Sharks for the better part of the last two seasons.
In a statement on Twitter, she thanked her broadcast colleagues in San Jose. She also clarified that her new role will allow her to continue to train with the U.S. women’s national team.
— Kendall Coyne Schofield (@KendallCoyne) November 23, 2020
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