New Hershey Bears Video Coach Embraces Trailblazer Role
Emily Engel-Natzke has had to repeat herself quite a bit over the last month, but the new Hershey Bears video coach doesn't mind one bit. After all, she landed a dream job with the Washington Capitals' organization in November. Since the announcement of her hire, local and national media have continued to tell the story of the 29-year-old from Colorado shattering another glass ceiling in the sports world.
Engel-Natzke is the first female coach to be hired in Hershey's 80-plus year history. Her employer is Hershey's National Hockey League affiliate, the Washington Capitals, and she also holds the distinction of being the first female coach in that organization as well.
“Now is the time, and I am certainly not the only woman out there qualified for something like this. So hopefully it is just the beginning, and hopefully other teams in the American League and the NHL will follow suit, and hopefully a year or two from now it is not such a huge deal."
Her story, at the moment however, is a big deal, because it's part of a long-overdue wave of hires of women in sports in recent months. The MLB's Miami Marlins named Kim Ng general manager last month, and more recently in the hockey world, the Chicago Blackhawks hired Kendall Coyne-Schofield as a development coach.
Between finishing her duties as the assistant director of operations/video coordinator for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team, Engel-Natzke has accommodated interview request after interview request.
While she claims the whole experience has been "a bit overwhelming," she knows that being a trailblazer in the sports world will continue to open doors for other women in the near future.
“Dream big and don’t let people or experiences get in the way of that. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, there’s going to be ups and downs for sure, but if you have the passion and you have the love for what you do, keep that dream alive.”
Engel-Natzke is excited to join the Bears and get started ahead of the AHL's anticipated start date of Feb. 5. The Bears enthusiasm for Engel-Natzke is shared.
“We’re excited to welcome Emily as our new video coach,” said Hershey's vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer. “She impressed in the interview process, and we feel the passion and detail in her work, along with her skill set and experience, will make her the perfect person to join our talented coaching staff and add to our rich history and tradition."
More media coverage on Emily Engel-Natzke:
Emily Engel-Natzke stumbled into hockey video work. Now she's becoming a pioneer in the sport, The Wisconsin State Journal
Emily Engel-Natzke on breaking barriers and joining the Hershey Bears, Capitals Talk, NBC Sports Washington (podcast)
Japers Rink Radio Episode 166: The Queen’s Video Gambit (w/ Emily Engel-Natzke), Japer's Rink (podcast)
New Hershey Bears hire, Emily Engel-Natzke, becomes the first female coach ever in the Washington Capitals organization, Russian Machine Never Breaks