By William Douglas
Jazmine Miley, director of the Puerto Rico Ice Hockey Association, has been named coach of Paul Smith’s College women’s hockey team.
Miley, a defenseman who also captained Puerto Rico’s women’s team to the 2021 Amerigol LATAM Cup championship, said she’s excited about coaching the small upstate New York college’s American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Division II women’s team.
She said her goals are “Bringing in more diverse players” and “just expanding the school, hockey-wise.”
The 27-year-old Afro-Latina from Queens, New York, is the latest in a small but growing number of women of color who’ve entered the college coaching ranks.
Kelsey Koelzer, a friend of Miley’s and a former National Women’s Hockey League defenseman, became the first Black woman head coach when Arcadia University, a NCAA Division III school outside of Philadelphia, hired her in 2020 to lead its women’s team.
Division I Dartmouth College hired Nina Rodgers, a former University of Minnesota and Boston University forward, as an assistant coach in July 2021. Olivia Soares, a former Ohio State University forward, was hired as an assistant coach by Division III Colby College in August 2021.
“I want to become an ambassador because of the lack of diversity in women’s hockey,” Miley said. “I would love to be the woman that other girls and women can look up to an connect with.”
Miley, who began playing hockey at 13, played for Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan, and Chatham University in Pittsburgh, both NCAA Division III schools, and for Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, on its ACHA Division I and II teams from 2014-19.
After college, she played and coached in Hungary, Norway, Finland and France. With the Puerto Ice Hockey Association, Miley oversaw development of the U.S. territory’s men’s Division I and II teams and women’s and youth national teams.
Miley said she’ll continue to work with the PRIHA while coaching at Paul Smith’s and she intends to play at the 2022 LATAM Cup Sept. 14-18 at the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, Florida.
(Originally published at https://www.nhl.com/news/jazmine-miley-named-coach-of-paul-smith-college-womens-hockey/c-334770790)