GLENDALE - Lyndsey Fry is eager to take on an expanded role with the Coyotes created specifically for her. The team recently announced that Fry, a former U.S. Olympic hockey player, has agreed to serve as Special Advisor to the Team President / Brand Ambassador.
Fans can look for Fry in the suites and on the concourses at home games. She invites all who wish to talk shop about hockey in Arizona to approach her.
"I'm excited about my new role," said Fry, who grew up and honed her hockey skills here in the Valley. "It's a way for me to put my MBA to work and kind of see what can I do by taking my passion for hockey and tying in my knowledge of business. I'm really looking forward to that."
Fry will work closely with Team President and CEO Ahron Cohen.
"Lyndsey is incredibly passionate about growing hockey across Arizona and her work ethic and commitment to this endeavor is exceptional," Cohen said. "Her new role with our organization is a significant step forward as we pursue our goals of building fandom throughout our state and positively impacting our community."
Fry has worked with the Coyotes over the past few years as an instructor at various hockey clinics. She also worked closely with Matt Shott, the team's Director of Amateur Hockey Development, to create and operate the Small Frys instructional program for girls ages 6-12. Just under 60 girls recently graduated from the five-month program.
"I'm honored," Fry said of being offered an expanded role. "From Day One, the Coyotes have really valued me as a woman, as a professional and as a hockey player, and now to see my role with the team evolve is really incredible. Ahron has been awesome with me, and I'm excited to help bridge the team with the grassroots hockey community here in Arizona. Ahron really has a forward-thinking, long-term vision for what this team is going to look like, and having it be a force here in the Valley and the entire state."
From the Coyotes official press release: "In her new and expanded role, Fry will continue to work with the Coyotes Hockey Development department to spearhead the growth of youth hockey and, particularly, women's hockey with the Small Frys program. Additionally, Fry will play a central role in establishing and implementing a hockey development and engagement strategy. Fry will also provide strategic advice to the organization on a multitude of other areas, including brand awareness, community engagement, corporate communication and operational efficiencies."
"I grew up within the hockey system here and was able to go on and make it to the Olympics," Fry said. "I'm confident I'll be able to help Ahron understand what are the ways in which the Coyotes can kind of give back and help out these grassroots hockey markets that ultimately is our fan base and what we want to continue to develop as our strong fan base."
Fry will continue to work with Small Frys as the leader of its all female staff.
"It's special," Fry said. "I didn't have anything like it. When I was growing up here it was all boys hockey at that point. There were only a few girls sprinkled in here or there throughout the rinks across the Valley. So, as someone who grew up playing boys hockey, to see the girls learn the game and embrace it in Small Frys is amazing to me. They go from being these timid and shy hockey players on the ice to I can't get them to be quiet by the end of the program. They have so much fun talking to the other girls and competing. That part of it is incredible. This program has shown me just how important it is to have a girls only option for these kids. It's really been a great success. We've gotten a lot of positive feedback from our families, and about 40 girls already have RSVPed for next summer. We're very excited about that."
Like Cohen, Shott says the Coyotes are lucky to be associated with Fry.
"Having Lyndsey on board gives the Coyotes a person that both boys and girls can look up to, as she is an Arizona native who played at the highest possible level and succeeded," Shott said. "We're beyond excited to have her join the Coyotes in this expanded role."
Fry, 26, represented the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where she led the women's hockey team to a silver medal. From 2010 to 2015, Fry played four seasons at Harvard University, where she produced 50 goals and 58 assists in 108 games. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard and her Master's in Business Administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Fry is eager to help fans cheer on the Coyotes this season and beyond.
"Being a girl from Arizona, I always played on the underdog team, if you will, and I loved that," Fry said. "I think that's kind of the position the Coyotes are in right now and yet here we are beating teams like Tampa Bay and Washington and Nashville. That's really exciting to watch. The job now for people like me is to help communicate that. We need people to know that the Coyotes are a good hockey team and that they're turning a corner. We want people to understand that and say 'Hey, let's go out and support the team.' I have a lot of confidence in what the Coyotes are building and I'm thrilled to be a part of it."