Kelsey Koelzer Becomes the First Black Ice Hockey Coach in NCAA History



A trailblazer and pioneer at just 25 years old, Kelsey Koelzer makes history as the first Black Head Hockey Coach in NCAA History. Koelzer will lead the new women’s program at Arcadia University this 2021-22 season. As the first black player to be the number one pick in a professional North American Hockey league draft, Koelzer is accustomed to being first but she will not be the last. Taking this on as a blessing and not a burden, Koelzer is preparing to transition from player to coach while working to build a college team that is ready for action!


Koelzer’s goal is to do the best she can in her new position but she is also aware of the significance and impact she can have on helping the game grow within communities of color. She states that "Being African American and being one of the first in this position, it just kind of helps me fuel my efforts," she said. "My love of the game always kind of overtook any doubts in my mind in terms if I belonged there. But I think it's something that a lot of people do struggle with, not having that representation and not having that figure that they can look up to and relate to. So I think having somebody in a leadership position that can be that role model and show people that there is a chance for you to make a statement and hold a leadership position and that they deserve as much as anyone else to be playing in the sport and succeeding in the sport.”

Kelsey Koelzer's story is a great example of what happens when passion and purpose meet opportunity! From playing for Princeton in 2013-14 and 2016-17, to landing with the NWHL team the Riveters, Koelzer has the opportunity to continue using her love for the game to break barriers. She is now one of three black coaches in NCAA hockey history. She went from making history as a hockey player to becoming a history making coach. We will be cheering Koelzer on as she embarks on this new exciting journey as Head Coach.