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Color of Hockey: Koelzer debuts as first Black woman to coach NCAA team

Black Women in Sports

Color of Hockey: Koelzer debuts as first Black woman to coach NCAA team

by William Douglas via

All-American defenseman at Princeton helped build Division III Arcadia from scratch

William Douglas has been writing The Color of Hockey blog for the past nine years. Douglas joined in March 2019 and writes about people of color in the sport. Today, he profiles Kelsey Koelzer, who experts say is the first Black female head coach in NCAA hockey.

Kelsey Koelzer is used to being a trailblazer from her youth hockey days to becoming the first Black woman selected No. 1 in the National Women’s Hockey League Draft by the Metropolitan Riveters in 2016.

She blazed another trail Saturday as coach of Arcadia University’s new NCAA Division III women’s hockey team. Hockey experts say the 26-year-old former Princeton University and NWHL (now the Premier Hockey Federation) defenseman is the first Black woman to guide an NCAA hockey team.

Arcadia, located outside of Philadelphia, lost its inaugural game 5-0 to Worcester State University on Saturday and lost 3-2 in overtime at Hatfield Ice Arena in Colmar, Pennsylvania, on Sunday.

For Koelzer, the weekend games ended two years of building the Arcadia women’s program from scratch and started a new chapter in her hockey career.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “It’s obviously different from what I’m used to. You have a leadership role as a…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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