First-year head coach Jeff Kampersal announced the addition of three members to the Penn State women’s hockey coaching staff Friday.
Celeste Brown and Allison Coomey join the Nittany Lions as assistant coaches, while Chris Demczuk has been named the director of operations. The trio have begun their duties earlier this month.
“I am eager to work alongside Allison and Celeste,” Kampersal said in a statement. “They are both humble and genuine people. Allison has a ton of experience and has worked with terrific mentors. I expect her to have a huge impact on decision-making and developing relationships. Celeste was heart and soul player in the CHA and played for a first-rate coach at RIT. She is full of energy and will be a culture changer.”
“Chris has a very sharp mind and is motivated,” said Kampersal. “He demonstrates initiative, is going to work hard for the team, and will be a great representative of Penn State women’s hockey.”
An alumna of Rochester Institute of Technology, Brown returns to the CHA after serving as an assistant coach at Connecticut College during the 2016-17 season.
“I am beyond excited to be joining Penn State,” Brown said. “During my short time spent at PSU thus far I have got a glimpse of the strong sense of community and passion everyone has for the university.”
“Back as a student-athlete, the first time I set foot in Pegula Ice Arena I knew that Penn State had the ability to push the limits of women’s hockey,” Brown added. “Now, I am fortunate to be part of an unbelievable team of coaches and staff to help develop well-rounded female student athletes and fierce competitors. I look forward to the bright future Penn State women’s hockey holds and cannot wait until puck drop.”
Prior to her time at Connecticut College, Brown played for the New York Riveters during the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) in 2015-16. Along with coaching at Connecticut College last year, Brown spent the 2016-17 NWHL season playing for the Connecticut Whale.
While at RIT, Brown’s class tallied a 15-2 record in postseason play, which included an NCAA Division III National Championship in 2012, and back-to-back CHA titles in 2014 and 2015. Individually, she was a two-time captain, with a career 70 points on 42 goals and 28 assists. Brown closed out her collegiate career as RIT’s Division I career leader with 30 career goals.
A native of Great Falls, Montana, Brown graduated from RIT in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology.
Coomey joins the Nittany Lions after serving as an assistant coach with Boston University for nine seasons.
“I would like to thank Mike Cross and Jeff Kampersal for the opportunity to help guide the Penn State women’s hockey program,” Coomey said. “Jeff is a highly respected coach in women’s hockey and I am excited to work with him.”
During her time as an assistant coach with BU from 2008-17, the Terriers captured five Hockey East titles, qualified for the NCAA Tournament six times, which included a pair of NCAA Championship appearances in 2011 and 2013. While at BU, Coomey had the opportunity to coach four Olympians that combined for six gold medals for the Canadian National Team at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
A four-year letterwinner at Niagara in her collegiate playing days, Coomey returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach from 2004-08, helping the Purple Eagles reach the CHA title game twice.
Before joining the staff at Niagara, Coomey served as an assistant coach at Plattsburgh, where she helped guide the Cardinals to the 2004 ECAC West Division III regular season title and the NCAA Division III semifinals.
Prior to her work at Plattsburgh, Coomey completed an internship as the assistant women’s hockey coach at Connecticut College and was also a volunteer lacrosse coach for the 2002-03 season. She has also worked numerous hockey camps, including the USA Hockey Development Camp.
As a student-athlete at Niagara, Coomey played hockey and lacrosse from 1998-2002. On the ice, she served as an alternate captain during her senior season and helped the team to its most successful season in program history, as the Purple Eagles reached the 2002 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four and finished tied for third in the final national poll. On the lacrosse field, she earned the team’s rookie of the year award in 1999 and went on to tally 69 goals and 37 assists in her four-year career.
A native of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Coomey earned two degrees from Niagara, a bachelor’s degree in education in 2002 and a master’s degree in school counseling in 2008. She was a two-time ECAC All-Academic Team member and earned a spot on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.
Demczuk joins the Penn State women’s hockey staff full-time after being a member of the staff for the past four seasons as a student worker in different capacities.
“I’d like to thank Jeff Kampersal and Michael Cross for giving me this exciting opportunity to transition from student to full-time employee at Penn State with its young, growing hockey program,” Demczuk said. “I’m looking forward to working with the team’s new staff and helping Penn State women’s hockey achieve new milestones.”
As the director of operations, Demczuk will help with travel and meal coordination, leading team video operations, assisting opponents with video needs, and assisting coaching staff with pre-game and post-game preparation.
A native of Gillette, N.J., Demczuk graduated from Penn State in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.