Canadian Women’s National Team legend Ashley Stephenson has been hired as a coach by the Toronto Blue Jays’ High-A affiliate, Vancouver Canadians. Photo: Baseball Canada
January 18, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Canadian Women’s National Team legend Ashley Stephenson has been hired as a coach by the Toronto Blue Jays’ High-A affiliate, Vancouver Canadians.
A member of the original Women’s National Team in 2004, the Mississauga, Ont., native concluded her 15-year playing career with the program in 2018. She then became a coach and was part of the staff that led Canada to a bronze medal at the COPABE Women’s Pan-American Championships in 2019.
Last year, she became the first woman to manage the Women’s National Team program when she was the dugout boss for their five five-game series against the United States in Thunder Bay, Ont.
“I am really excited for this opportunity,” said Stephenson in a statement issued by Baseball Canada. “I’ve loved baseball and the Blue Jays since I was three years old, and never really imagined that I’d be able to have a career in the game let alone with my favourite team. I’m looking forward to continuing to grow and develop as a coach all while doing my best to help our players reach their ultimate goal.”
In 2022, Stephenson also coached Ontario teams at Baseball Canada’s Women’s Invitational Championships and the 16U Girls Championship prior to becoming the first woman to coach at the Blue Jays Academy Canadian Futures Showcase in Ottawa in September.
In August, she was invited to the Blue Jays’ Player Development Complex in Dunedin, Fla., for a week, where she gained valuable experience as a guest coach with their Florida Complex League club.
Stephenson made history again in November when she became the first woman to capture Baseball Canada’s Lionel Ruhr Elite Coach of the Year Award.
“On behalf of Baseball Canada and our board of directors, we are thrilled for Ashley and the experience in professional baseball that she has in front of her,” said Baseball Canada CEO Jason Dickson in a statement. “Ashley played the game with incredible passion and knowledge and has translated both of those attributes into her coaching career. We wish her nothing but the best in this next chapter of her baseball career.”
Stephenson will be taking leave from her position as a high school teacher in early February before reporting to the Blue Jays Player Development Complex in Dunedin. In April, she will head to Vancouver with the club to begin the season.