Yale Adds U.S. National Team Experience to Staff with Hiring of Jessica Koizumi

Jessica Koizumi.

Joins Former Mentor Joakim Flygh; Also Brings NCAA Frozen Four Experience from Minnesota-Duluth

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Jessica Koizumi, who earned a gold medal as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team at the 2008 IIHF World Women's Championship, has joined the Yale women's ice hockey staff as an assistant coach. Koizumi played for the University of Minnesota-Duluth while Yale's new head coach Joakim Flygh was an assistant there, and she captained UMD to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game in 2007.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have Jess join our staff," Flygh said. "She will be a tremendous role model for our student-athletes and I am excited for her to start working with our players on and off the ice.  She comes from a culture of winning and she is passionate about the game.  As a player, Jess was meticulous in her preparation -- I have no doubt that this will carry through in her coaching.  Jess is an important addition to our staff as we look to build a very competitive program."

In addition to her gold medal at the 2008 IIHF Women's World Championship in China, Koizumi also was part of the U.S. team's second-place finish at the 2007 Four Nations Cup. She was on the U.S. Women's Select Team in 2008-09 while getting her master's degree in education from Minnesota-Duluth. She also played for the U.S. Under-22 Select Team in the series with Canada in 2004 and 2006.

 Koizumi has participated in six USA Hockey National Festivals (2004-2009) and four USA Hockey Player Development Camps (2000-2003). She has also participated in several USA Hockey Holiday Festivals and June Conditioning Camps, and has played for Team USA at three Women's World InLine Hockey Championships (2005-07). That included a gold medal in Detroit in 2006 and a silver medal in France in 2005.

In addition to playing for the U.S., Koizumi has also served as a head coach at multiple USA Hockey National Girls' Hockey festivals, working with the U14 team in Rochester, N.Y., in 2010; the U16 team in St. Cloud, Minn., in 2009 and 2010; and the U17 team in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 2007. She also served as an evaluator at USA Hockey's Pacific District tryouts in Seattle, Wash., from 2007 through 2009.

"I feel honored and grateful to Yale and UK [Flygh] for giving me this opportunity," Koizumi said. "I look forward to beginning my career in coaching, where I am able to contribute to the sport that has treated me so generously. I cannot thank my former coaches enough for preparing me beyond the athletic realm with their invaluable guidance and support. I am anxious to begin working with UK, as he has been one of my most prominent mentors ever since he began coaching me at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The future for Yale women's hockey looks promising and I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it." 

Koizumi, a forward, finished her career ranked No. 7 on the UMD career scoring list with 155 points (84-71-155) and was a team captain for two years. As a senior in 2006-07 she led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Women's Frozen Four championship game after coming back from a torn MCL midway through the season. She scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a double-overtime victory over Boston College in the national semifinal game and was named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team. She was also a third team All-WCHA selection that year, and was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman.

Koizumi finished in the top three in points on her team every year (second with 40 points (22-18) as a senior, first with 43 points (17-26) as a junior, third with 41 points (24-17) as a sophomore, third with 31 points (21-10) as a freshman).

A standout in the classroom as well as on the ice, Koizumi was a four-time WCHA All-Academic Team selection and a two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in coaching in 2007. She was a tutor for the Athletic Department from 2005 through 2007. She completed her master's degree in education in 2009.

Koizumi supplemented her experience of playing for Shannon Miller (fifth in the NCAA among active coaches with 291 career wins) at UMD by also serving as a graduate assistant coach for her alma mater in the fall semester of 2007. Additionally, she completed a coaching practicum with the Denfeld varsity high school boys' team in Duluth in 2007.

Koizumi spent last season as an assistant coach for the White Team at the North American Hockey Academy. She also played part-time for Montreal Stars in the Central Women's Hockey League, helping the team to the CWHL regular season title. She had 11 goals and 11 assists in just 17 games. This season she will play part-time for the new Boston team in the CWHL.

Koizumi also played two seasons for the Minnesota Whitecaps of the Western Women's Hockey League. In 2008-09 she ranked second on the team with 17 points (11-6-17) and led the team to the WWHL championship. That same year she also served as head junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach for the Totino Grace high school girls' program in Fridley, Minn.

Koizumi founded the Tsunami Performance Zone Hockey Camp in 2005 and is the head instructor there. She also served as an instructor at Canadian Hockey Enterprises Hockey School in Michigan earlier this year, and at OS Hockey in Minnesota in 2009. She was the head instructor for power skating and dry-land clinics in Huntington Beach, Calif., from 2003 through 2006.

Koizumi, who was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a 2003 graduate of Marina High School (Calif.). She played for the Cal Selects Hockey Club from 1999-2003, and was named the 2002-03 Cal Selects Player of the Year.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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