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Alumni Spotlight: Katie Zimmerman

Alumni Spotlight: Katie Zimmerman
Katie Zimmerman, first head coach of Western New England University's Women's Ice Hockey team

The Patton College of Education is honored to recognize Katie Zimmerman, college and professional women’s ice hockey coach, as December Alum of the Month.

Zimmerman is the first head coach of the newly formed Western New England University’s Women’s Ice Hockey team, which was added to the school’s athletics program in June 2019. Their first season as an NCAA Division III team will begin during the 2020-21 school year.

“As the first-ever head coach of Women’s Ice Hockey at Western New England University, I have the unique opportunity to build our women’s hockey program from the ground up,” said Zimmerman. It is an extremely exciting time to be involved in girls/women’s hockey, and I couldn’t be more proud to be growing the sport at the college level.”

Right now, Zimmerman’s focus is on recruiting her future team’s inaugural roster. She is also assisting with creative tasks like designing jerseys and creating social media content.

“It’s great being able to have my fingerprint on every aspect of this program, and I can’t wait to hit the ice for the first time in history next fall,” said Zimmerman.

Alongside her position at WNEU, Zimmerman is a youth coach for USA Hockey. She has worked with the organization in numerous capacities like National Camp Head Coach and District Camp Coach/Evaluator.

Prior to Western New England University, Zimmerman was on the coaching staff for women’s hockey programs at Amherst College and the State University of New York College at Cortland.

Zimmerman graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies in 2013. She played hockey there for four years and led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in goals scored during her junior and senior seasons.

The Plymouth, Mich., native received her Master’s in Coaching Education from Ohio University in 2016.

“One of the best memories I have from Ohio University is when my cohort met for a weekend symposium on campus. Since the master’s program was online, I had been in discussions with classmates via an online forum for over a year leading up to the symposium,” said Zimmerman. “To be able to finally meet my fellow classmates in person was a special opportunity to further our relationships and have a more personal, memorable experience as a group.”

In summer 2020, Zimmerman is slated to give presentations at two USA Hockey Clinics for the Level 4 Coaching Education Program. Her topic will be “The State of Girls/Women’s Hockey.”

Zimmerman believes she is very fortunate to work in a profession she is passionate about.

“I knew I wanted to coach hockey since I started playing the sport,” she said. “I have so much positive energy every day, because I truly love what I do.”