Historic hire: Coyne Schofield joins Blackhawks as development coach
Kendall Coyne Schofield keeps making history.
Already well known for her prolific play in the Olympic Winter Games, which includes winning a gold medal with the U.S. women's team in 2018, Coyne Schofield became the first female development coach in Blackhawks history on Monday.
The Palos Heights native and Sandburg High School graduate will work with players at Rockford, the Hawks' top minor-league affiliate.
"This is an incredible opportunity," the 28-year-old Coyne Schofield said. "I'm so excited. I remember being three years old putting on my first pair of skates and watching the Blackhawks play, and at seven years old playing in the junior Blackhawks game at the United Center and doing it again when I was nine.
"And then from there, time passed and I became the (Blackhawks' media relations) intern in 2014 after the Olympics. I've always felt a part of this organization so to see things finally be formalized, from a business standpoint, is such an honor. As a young kid, I always dreamed to be a part of this organization."
Coyne Schofield has already made a name for herself at the NHL level. She became the first female to compete in the All-Star Game's fastest skater competition (2019) and has also been a broadcaster on NBC Sports Network.
Now, Schofield is ready for her next challenge with the Blackhawks.
"While I might be the first female coach a lot of these players have worked with, I don't see it being an issue," she said. "I see them seeing me as someone that's going to aspire to get to the next level to fulfill their NHL dream and I'm going to do everything I can to get them ready to do that.
"I think no matter who walks through the door, whether it's a new coach, a new nutritionist, a new strength coach, you need to earn the trust and the respect of the players. I plan on doing that right away through the work ethic that I will show them. That's how I made it as a player and that's how I plan on making it as a coach."
The Hawks also announced Erik Condra has been hired as a player development coach and he'll work with Coyne Schofield in Rockford.
Originally drafted by Ottawa in 2006, Condra played in 372 games with the Senators, Lightning and Stars.