It is with very mixed emotions that St. Jude announces that our dear friend, coach and mentor, Jackie Kooistra, will be leaving St. Jude to accept the position as the head Varsity Hockey Coach as well as the director of girls hockey at Culver Academy starting this fall. This is an exciting opportunity for Coach Jackie and her family as she takes the next career step.
Coach Jackie has been instrumental in not only building the St. Jude Girls program but growing girls hockey throughout Illinois. Her hockey career started at age seven when she became a St. Jude Knight. After her peewee year, she played AAA hockey for Team Illinois (TI). She played for TI until her high school years when she played varsity for Culver Academy in Indiana. After high school, she attended the University of New Hampshire where she played Varsity for four years and received many awards. During high school and college, she was selected to play at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY and participate in Team USA 18U and 22U camps. Since college, Coach Jackie has traveled the country coaching youth hockey camps and clinics. We are very excited that she is taking another step closer to her ultimate career goal and that she will be close enough for frequent visits back to St. Jude!
With Jackie’s promotion, we are very excited to announce the new St. Jude Girls Hockey Director will be Ms. Shannon Coleman. Shannon Coleman started playing hockey at seven years old, following in the footsteps of her dad and three older brothers. She played as a St. Jude Knight for five years before making the switch to play girl’s hockey. Shannon has won three State Championships, placed 2nd at the 2009 u16 Nationals with Team Illinois and 3rd at the 2010 u19 Nationals with the Chicago Mission.
Shannon went on to play four years of NCAA DIII hockey at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. Not only did she serve as a captain, but also graduated with honors with a double major in Elementary and Special Education. Shannon was on the NCAA All-Academic team for three years, in addition to being on the Dean’s List all four years.
Fun Fact: During college, Shannon was her school’s mascot Sammy the Seahawk. She won the Seahawk Spirit Award in 2013.
Shannon has been coaching high school boy’s hockey for the past two years, as well as helping the 12u girls team here at St. Jude. She is also a Learn to Skate instructor helping our newest and youngest hockey players. Off the ice Shannon is an elementary school teacher where she takes her enthusiasm and energetic personality into the classroom.
We are very excited for Jackie and Shannon as they both take the next step in their careers. Please join us in wishing Jackie well at Culver and welcoming Shannon to our St. Jude Hockey Staff.