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Claire Jenkins Coffman always wanted to be a coach.

That's what her parents did. Her mom, Laura, coached water polo collegiately and for Team USA while her dad, Nat, worked with high school athletes.

"I've seen it since I was a little kid running around on the pool deck," Jenkins Coffman said. "My mom developed Olympians, and I always thought that was the coolest thing: you helped that person become special. You willed that person to develop that skill that nobody else has."

But Jenkins Coffman hasn't completely taken after her parents.

The water at her practices is frozen.

Jenkins Coffman is on the ice this week at Tria Rink in St. Paul for Wild development camp as a guest coach.

She's believed to be the first woman in that role with the Wild. It's an opportunity for the recent Augsburg University grad to help mentor the team's prospects and add to her repertoire before she moves onto her first official coaching gig.

"It's awesome being out there with the guys," Jenkins Coffman said, "and I feel like they listen to me 100% and want to learn."

The Wild invited Jenkins Coffman, 23, last winter to join their development camp.

She knew team brass — Wild owner Craig Leipold is from Racine, Wis., where Jenkins Coffman grew up — and she began talking to Wild director of player development Brad Bombardir; Jenkins Coffman wanted to know how to get involved in coaching men's hockey.

After starting hockey in the first grade, she played against boys and hitting was allowed.

"I was always a very physical player, always checked," said Jenkins Coffman, who was a forward at Augsburg. "You can't do that in girls hockey, but I love that style of play."

Setting an example for Jenkins Coffman are Jessica Campbell, Kim Weiss and Sanya Sandahl.

Last week, Campbell became the first woman to be named an NHL coach when the Seattle Kraken hired her as an assistant.

Campbell, who played at Cornell and professionally in Canada and Sweden, was also the first woman to coach in the American Hockey League.

"It's really, really cool to see," Jenkins Coffman said. "To see her trajectory is just unbelievable."

Trinity College made Weiss the first woman assistant coach in NCAA Division III men's hockey; before that, Weiss was the first woman to coach a North American junior hockey team. She and Kelsey Cline, a Bloomington native and former Gopher, were guest coaches with the Colorado Avalanche last season.

As for Sandahl, the Duluth native is a professional goaltending consultant and the women's director at the Goaltender Development Institute USA, which offers camps and clinics.

"Jess is definitely the breaker-in, and she's incredible," Jenkins Coffman said. "The fact that she's on the bench already and she's been on several benches in the international game, the AHL and now the NHL, I hope we can see more of that because I think we do have a lot from the women's side of skill development, and we see the game differently. I think our hockey IQ is a little different."

During Wild camp, Jenkins Coffman has assisted with drills and shared technical tips with players.

"The guys are 100% receptive," she said.

The practice planning has resonated with her and so has what she's heard sitting in on meetings. Jenkins Coffman has listened to Wild coach John Hynes and a Navy SEAL who has spoken every day.

"I'm jaw-dropped by the advice he has to give us," Jenkins Coffman said.

This insight is timely.

Jenkins Coffman will be an assistant and skills coach for the New Hampshire Mountain Kings, which has an academy, North American Hockey League franchise and North American 3 Hockey League team.

"I'm just pumped," said Jenkins Coffman, who also runs a summer camp in Wisconsin for players who range from 4 years old to junior and college-level athletes. "This is what I was always working toward. I was a little shocked that it happened so quickly."

Her dream is the same one the players she's teaching have.

"Everyone's ultimate goal who is on the men's side is to raise a Stanley Cup one day," Jenkins Coffman said. "I just want to coach as long as I can and get to the highest level I can."

In the meantime, Jenkins Coffman can be a role model for other women looking to follow in her footsteps.

"It's pretty surreal," she said. "It's weird to think about because I've just always been the one who's been inspired."