UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour has announced the appointment of Jeff Kampersal as the second head coach in the history of the women's hockey program. One of the nation’s most successful coaches, Kampersal (Camp-er-saul) comes to Happy Valley after serving as the head coach at Princeton for the past 21 seasons, where he won 327 contests.
"We are thrilled to have Jeff Kampersal joining our family as the leader of the Penn State women's hockey program," Barbour said. "Jeff has developed one of the nation’s top women’s hockey programs at Princeton and is among the sport’s most respected and successful coaches.
“Jeff has recruited and developed students who have earned distinguished success in their academic and athletic pursuits,” Barbour added. “He’s a perfect fit for our promise of preparing students for a lifetime of impact. We are excited about the experience and leadership Jeff will bring to Penn State and look forward to building the women’s hockey program into one that competes for championships."
“Thank you to my wife Eileen and my children, Keira and Jack, for their strength, love and support as I accept the incredible opportunity to coach the women’s ice hockey team at The Pennsylvania State University,” Kampersal said. “Thank you to Sandy Barbour, Mike Cross and the search committee at Penn State. After participating in the interview process and spending some time on campus, it is hard not to notice the genuine passion everyone has for Penn State. WE ARE! is real. I am so excited to be part of the Nittany Lion family.
“Thank you to Princeton Athletic Director, Mollie Marcoux, my friend and dynamic leader of the Tigers. Thank you to Gary Walters, my former boss, who took a chance on a young coach 21 years ago. I will be forever grateful. I have been incredibly fortunate to surround myself with great people during my time at Princeton. To all the coaches I have worked with, you have made me a better coach by challenging me every day. I am so lucky to have spent so much quality time with you, thank you. Finally, to the current and past players I have coached at Princeton, I love you all and I am so privileged to be part of your lives. You are such a motivated and impressive family.
“I am excited to continue my career at Penn State, an institution of academic and athletic excellence.,” Kampersal added. “We will continue to search for great student-athletes eager to win in the classroom and on the ice, in the nation’s best college hockey facility, Pegula Ice Arena. I am really looking forward to meeting the team, setting the standards and taking this young program to the next level.”
No. 5 Among Active Coaches With 327 Victories
Kampersal ranks fifth in career victories among active women’s hockey coaches with 327, a total that ranks No. 7 all-time. As the head coach of Princeton Tigers, Kampersal garnered ECAC Coach of the Year honors three times and Ivy League Coach of the Year accolades twice.
Kampersal helped the Tigers capture two Ivy League Championships (2005-06 & 2015-16) and qualify for the NCAA Tournament twice (2005-06 & 2015-16).
At Princeton, Kampersal’s student-athletes earned 68 All-ECAC Hockey honors, 54 All-Ivy League selections, five Patty Kazmaier Award candidates and two AHCA All-America plaudits.
Led Princeton to 42-19-5 Record Past Two Seasons; Ivy Title and NCAA Berth
Over the past two seasons, Kampersal guided the Tigers to a 42-19-5 cumulative record that included the 2016 Ivy League Championship and an NCAA Championship at-large berth.
The 2016-17 campaign saw Princeton compile an overall record of 20-10-3, falling to eventual national champion, Clarkson, in the ECAC Tournament semifinals. During this past season, the Tigers recorded seven wins over ranked teams, had a Patty Kazmaier top-10 finalist, the USCHO.com National Rookie of the Year, six All-Ivy League members and four All-ECAC members, including the Goalie and Rookie of the Year. Princeton was ranked No. 9 in the final 2016-17 USCHO.com poll.
In 2015-16, Kampersal directed Princeton to one of the greatest seasons in program history. The Tigers compiled a 22-9-2 record, won the Ivy League title and an NCAA Tournament bid and Kampersal earned Ivy and ECAC Coach of the Year honors.
International Coaching Success
Under the direction of Kampersal, the USA Women’s Hockey Under-18 Team captured silver medals at the 2013 and 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women's U-18 Championships.
His experience with the US Hockey program also includes serving on the coaching staff of the USA Women's Select Festival from 2004-06.
A 1992 Princeton graduate with a degree in psychology, Kampersal served as the men's hockey team's captain as a senior. An All-Ivy League and All-ECAC selection, Kampersal shares the school record for consecutive games played with 107 (tied with Mervin Kopeck '95). He also was awarded the 1941 Championship Trophy, given to the Princeton player who best represents the winning spirit of the 1941 championship team.
From Beverly, Mass., Kampersal played high school hockey at St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass., and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2009.
A 10th-round selection of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders in the 1988 entry draft, Kampersal played for the ECHL's Richmond Renegades and the AHL's Capital District Islanders.
Kampersal and his wife, Eileen, have a daughter, Keira, and a son, Jack.