Jacqui Gutierrez makes history as Stingrays first female trainer

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 8:04 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - “I like the hardness of the sport and just because I’ve been raised and kinda grown up in that tough environment and I’m used to being the only female around.”

Being a trailblazer in any sport is an accomplishment in itself but for Jacqui Gutierrez she’s the first female trainer in Stingrays history. She says growing up with brothers is what prepared her to work in a tough sport like hockey.

“She does it very well” Stingrays head coach Brenden Kotyk said. “She toes that fine line where they have a friend in her but at the same time she’s not afraid to be like ok get back out on the ice.”

Gutierrez is no stranger to hockey either. She became the first female to win the USHL’s Clark Cup when she served as Director of Athletic Training and Recovery for the Sioux City Musketeers last season.

She definitely holds her own often being the only female on the bench but says she enjoys her role on a hockey team.

“I do like being able to give back and I know they have my back, but I want them to know I have theirs too.” she said.

Rays players say Jacqui’s passion is contagious and they hope she continues paving the way for more females working in hockey.

“She’s good at her job I mean why shouldn’t she have been in this position earlier.” Stingrays captain Andrew Cherniwchan said. “I’m proud of her I’m happy for her.”

“I hope it encourages young ladies, girls, females anyone to feel comfortable going out of their comfort zone and being the only one.”

Much like the Stingrays hockey players Jacqui says its a goal of hers to someday work in the NHL, but she says she’s already living a dream now working in pro sports.