By Warren Kozireski —
2013 Hilton High School grad Jordan Ott has been named the new head coach for women’s hockey at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
A four-time all-county pick and three-time team MVP in softball at Hilton where she also played soccer, Ott also played in the Rochester Edge girls hockey program and for the Potsdam Bears where she set the school scoring record with 107 career points. She also has school records with 61 career goals, 18 career power-play goals and 12 game-winning goals.
She inherits a Monarchs team that was 3-21-1 in 2019-20 and has won four games combined over their first three years playing at the Division III level.
“I am unbelievably excited for the opportunity to be a part of the King’s College family,” Ott said via email. “I believe that the women’s hockey program has incredible potential and provides student-athletes with a wonderful college experience. The campus is welcoming and positive and the student-athletes are eager to improve upon their craft and take another step towards building a winning program. Being able to continue my involvement in hockey following the conclusion of my own playing career means the world to me, as it is something I truly enjoy. I am eager to get started and begin working with the coaching staff to further develop the program.
Ott continued her hockey career professionally after Potsdam with the Buffalo Beauts before taking on head softball coach and hockey volunteer coaching responsibilities back at Potsdam.
“A lot of what I have learned from being a head coach over the past two years has been about how to develop a team culture. I believe that may be what is lacking in many ways at King’s and I am eager to get started on building the mindset and habits that encourage success. The x’s and o’s will be a bit different this upcoming season, but the on-ice performance is only half the battle. Coaching is about developing relationships, cultivating team chemistry, and many more intangibles and I have learned a lot about the value of those the past two years.
“I believe that every player on the current roster, including the all of the incoming freshmen, has the ability to compete at this level. I think there is tremendous potential within this program from top to bottom and it is my job as a coach to bring out the best in each player and put them in a position to succeed. The first year of any coaching job comes with challenges, I expect no different from this job. I will have high expectations for the players, but those willing to put in the work and buy into the program we are trying to build will hopefully have a very enjoyable experience.
“Growing up playing many different sports I have had more coaches than I can count, all with different coaching styles. Looking back on my experiences, I almost automatically think of my favorite coaches as the ones who helped me develop as a person, not just a player. I had some great coaches, coaches that helped turn me into the player I wanted to be. But the coaches I loved and still keep in contact with today are the ones who understood that there is more to life than sports. Coaches such as Wayne Wells who coached me in youth hockey for the Tri-County Golden Eagles, Ned Corbett with the Rochester Edge (my first girl’s hockey coach), Chris Schiano who coached me for the majority of my soccer career, Ken Metzger who let me play baseball with his sons for many years. All of the coaches named are people who shaped me more as person than a player, and that is something I put into my own coaching.”
Ott also reflected on her time playing soccer and softball at Hilton.
“Being a Cadet was a wonderful experience. Many of my closest friends that I am still in touch with are friends that I made through sports while in school. The district as a whole has made such a wonderful commitment to continually improving the student experience, along with their athletics programs. Seeing the improvements to facilities even now long after I have graduated is a fantastic sight and something that I know the student-athletes will enjoy. I believe that the Athletic Director (Mr. Girruzi) has done nothing but great things since taking over the program. I have always loved sports and wanted to continue my involvement in any way possible, but Hilton was a large part of my athletics experience.”
Between soccer and softball seasons while in high school, Ott played hockey ij the Rochester Edge program after leaving Tri-County youth hockey.
“Playing for the Edge was really the turning point in my hockey career. Up until my 14-U year I had played boy’s hockey and I always hesitated to make the switch. Once the boys started to get too big, I knew it was time. I actually joined the 14-U Tier 2 team halfway through the season while still playing on a boys team so that I could see if I liked it and get on the ice more. That is the year I met Coach Corbett and it was a great opportunity. Making the switch allowed me to be more of an impact player, moving to forward from defense. Playing that year gave me so much confidence moving forward. The following year, I joined the Tier 1 team and we played all of our league games in the LLGHL (now LLFHL) in Canada and traveled all over the northeast for showcases. The three years I played with that team were the years that I truly took my game to the next level. I was able to play against the top teams at our level and it was my stepping stone to playing at the collegiate level.”
Ott majored in Elementary Education while at Potsdam with a plan to teach at the elementary school level, but life has taken her in another direction for now.
“I do have a degree in teaching and masters in curriculum and instruction because teaching was the original plan. I have always loved kids and I would absolutely be in a classroom right now if it wasn’t for coaching. Hockey has been a huge part of my life for so long and it is truly part of how I define myself. I could not pass up the opportunity to stay involved in sports following my own playing career coming to an end. I do find that I am able to apply a lot of my teaching philosophy to my coaching philosophy and a lot of the ideas are the same. My students just happen to be college hockey players instead of first graders.”