Kelsey Koelzer has been appointed NWHL Advisor to the Commissioner on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the league announced Thursday.
Koelzer’s role aims to influence a culture of awareness and action to drive change and representation throughout the league.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion are important areas that need our attention in order to grow our league and the sport of women’s hockey,” said Tumminia. “I am absolutely thrilled to have Kelsey join our team because I want her voice and her opinions reflected in the evolving conversation and future initiatives that will enhance and strengthen the NWHL.”
The role is effective immediately.
“I’m very excited to be assisting the new leadership of the NWHL in this role, helping to grow the game of women’s hockey while also fostering conversations to create one league that puts a focus and an emphasis on diversity and inclusion,” said Koelzer. “I’m looking to bring my personal and professional experience to this role because ultimately I want all young girls, from all walks of life, to know that hockey is for them.”
The 25-year-old was the top pick for the Metropolitan Riveters in the 2016 NWHL Draft, becoming the first Black player to ever be selected first overall in a professional North American hockey league draft.
During her time with the Riveters, she won the Isobel Cup in 2018 and was named Co-MVP at the 2018 NWHL All-Star game.
In college, the defenceman was a three-time First Team All-Ivy League honouree and 2016 Ivy League Player of the Year while playing for the Princeton Tigers. Leading her squad to an Ivy League Championship and a trip to the NCAA national quarterfinals, she became the first Tiger with First Team All-American honours.
In 2019 the Horsham, Pa. native made history again when hired by Arcadia University, becoming the first Black head coach in the history of NCAA ice hockey.
Koelzer native also serves on the NHL & NHLPA Female Hockey Advisory Committee, a panel that helps accelerate the growth of women’s hockey in North America and to enable girls with the opportunities and benefits hockey provides.