As a six-year-old playing her first games on the ice, Reagan Carey ’97 never dreamed that her passion for hockey would one day take her around the world. As director of US women’s hockey, Reagan represents women’s hockey at competitions and events around the world, including the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, where she served as general manager for the silver medal-winning Olympic Team.
Since 2010, Reagan has been responsible for managing the US women’s national team program, including not only elite team development, but also youth development programs across the country. Among her other responsibilities, she’s in charge of selecting staff and working with coaches to pick the players who’ll make up Team USA.
Under Reagan’s leadership, the US women’s team has not only scored a silver medal at the Sochi Games, but has also won two golds and a silver at the Women’s World Championship and finished first on two occasions and second once at the Four Nations Cup.
For Reagan, working at the highest level in the sport she loves is a thrilling experience. “In every aspect of the game, you’re working with the best,” she said. “You come to work every day and you’re surrounded by the best in the field. It’s pretty energizing to work in that environment.”
Reagan has been playing hockey almost all her life. During her years at KCD, she played for a boys’ travel team, then went on to play four years of hockey at Colby College, serving as team captain her junior and senior years. She got her start in the NHL in the Atlanta Thrashers’ marketing department in 2001, then moved on to become director of fan development and youth marketing for Atlanta Spirit, the parent company of the Thrashers and the Atlanta Hawks. Since joining the staff of USA hockey in 2010, she’s worked to bring more continuity to the coaching and core team staff.
Through it all, Reagan feels fortunate that she’s been able to stay connected to the sport she loves. “Hockey is such a unique sport,” she said. “It’s so fast and challenging from an athletic standpoint. It’s also a real team sport. You really have to have a lot of camaraderie to be successful in hockey. Think about how long you spend in the locker room putting your gear on: that’s a lot of time getting to know each other and building those bonds. I really like that team environment. It’s something a little different from other sports.”
Reagan brings that same emphasis on teamwork to her work with USA hockey. “Our team motto is Team First,” she said. “Our goal is to build a team that’s not a bunch of all stars, but an all-star team.”
In her work with US hockey, Reagan finds many of the same values she found at KCD. “You really have to work hard here in order to excel, and that’s one of the core values that KCD represents. We talk a lot here about working hard and making sure everybody is fulfilling their potential, and that’s the message that I heard at KCD as well.”