Jodi McKenna is now in her eighth full season of coaching Wesleyan women's ice hockey. After nine seasons as an assistant coach at St. Lawrence University, Jodi stepped in for her first head coaching assignment at Wesleyan in 2007-08. After coaching the Cardinals for two season, Jodi was on temporary leave-of-absence for the 2009-10 campaign as she helped Team USA earn a silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, serving as an assistant coach. She returned to the Cardinal bench for the 2010-11 season. In April, 2009, Jodi was on board as an assistant coach when Team USA won a gold medal during the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship in Hameenlinna, Finland. Jodi was given a head coaching assignment in August, 2010, directing the National U-18 squad during the USA Hockey Women's National Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y. There, Team USA took on Canada for a three-game series. She also directed the U-18 squad to a gold medal at the World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden in January, 2011. Her most recent activity with the National Team came in August, 2014, as she was on the coaching staff for the National Festival in Lake Placid once again, helping to select the members of the U18 and U22 squads for competition vs. Canada.
A 1998 graduate of Brown University, Jodi was an outstanding defensewoman on the Bears women's ice hockey squad. During her four seasons, the final one as a team captain, Jodi saw her Brown team capture an ECAC regular-season or tournament title three times. In Jodi's senior year, Brown played in the first-ever women's ice hockey national championship contest, falling to the University of New Hampshire. In her nine seasons with St. Lawrence as an assistant, Jodi helped the Saints qualify for the NCAA Championships five times, making it to the Frozen Four on each occasion and playing in the title game in 2001.
A certified strength and conditioning coach, Jodi developed and monitored the year-round training program of the Saints women's ice hockey squad. During the off-season, she was active as a USA Hockey coach including action with the 18-19 Junior Olympic Festival and the 15-16 Festival in 2004 as well as with the Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic and Rocky Mountain District Player Development programs. Recently, Jodi has been a coach and evaluator for USA Hockey Rocky Mountain District Camp in May, 2008 and an assistant coach for the U.S. U-22 National Team camp in June, 2008. She also was an assistant coach at the U.S. National Team holiday camp in December, 2008.
After receiving her B.A. from Brown in 1998, Jodi added a Master's degree at St. Lawrence in 2000. An adjunct associate professor at Wesleyan, Jodi acts as the club sport liaison for the athletics department in addition to her coaching duties.
- Tara Connolly, a native of Simsbury, Conn. and 2013 graduate of Bowdoin College, joins the Cardinal coaching staff as an intern and women's ice hockey assistant for a second season in 2015-16. Tara served as an athletics communications assistant at UConn for the 2013-14 year, where she acted as the primary sports information contact for several Husky teams and assisted with the national champion women’s basketball and field hockey programs.
At Bowdoin, Tara was a goalie in both ice hockey and lacrosse, helping ice hockey capture the 2013 NESCAC Championship and earn its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005. Tara posted an overall record of 21-11-3 during her four years with a 2.21 career goals-against average and a career save percentage of .914, which ranks fourth all-time in Bowdoin’s record books.
On the turf, she paced the lacrosse team to national rankings in each of her four years and two NCAA tournament appearances. In 2011, Tara led the Polar Bears to the team’s first-ever NCAA Final Four berth, eventually finishing as the National runner-up. Tara garnered first-team all-NESCAC and second-team All-America honors in 2013, graduating with the program record in goaltender wins (48) and minutes played (3785).
Tara earned her bachelor’s degree in history and teaching. In addition to her coaching duties at Wesleyan, she will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies.
Caitlin Peters - Assistant Coach
- A part of the Cardinal coaching staff for the first time in 2009-10 as a part-time assistant, Caitlin Peters, now in her sixth season, was a four-year varsity women's ice hockey stalwart at Division I Quinnipiac University. Graduating in 2005, Caitlin was a team captain as a senior while serving as an assistant captain the prior year. She was a participant in the 2002 Youth Education through Sports (YES) Clinic at the NCAA Women's Frozen Four Division I National Championship.
- Receiving her degree in biology at Quinnipiac, Caitlin currently works full-time as a biology teacher at the Greater Hartford Academy for the Arts. For three years following her graduation, Caitlin worked for Protein Sciences in Meriden, Conn. as a quality control analyst. During the summers of 2002, 2003 and 2005, Caitlin gained experience as a director, coach or counselor at various sports camps in Connecticut and Minnesota.