Blue Jays organization adds former Canadian women's player Ashley Stephenson as coach

Ashley Stephenson, seen playing for Canada in the 2015 Pan American Games, joined the Toronto Blue Jays organization on Wednesday, the team announced. Stephenson will serve as a member of the club's High-A affiliate Vancouver Canadians this season. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Ashley Stephenson, seen playing for Canada in the 2015 Pan American Games, joined the Toronto Blue Jays organization on Wednesday, the team announced. Stephenson will serve as a member of the club's High-A affiliate Vancouver Canadians this season. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The Toronto Blue Jays organization has added to its coaching roster.

Former Canadian women's national team player Ashley Stephenson joined the ranks of the Blue Jays organization on Wednesday, where she will serve on the High-A affiliate Vancouver Canadians in the upcoming season.

The 40-year-old spent 15 years representing the maple leaf, accumulating four Women's Baseball World Cup medals (three bronze, one silver), and a Pan American Games silver in 2015.

"I am really excited for this opportunity," Stephenson said in a release. "I've loved baseball and the Blue Jays since I was three years old."

Stephenson's national team contributions shifted to coaching in 2019, when she joined the Team Canada staff and won bronze in the Pan American Games that year.

In 2022, Stephenson became the first woman to manage Canada when — during a five-game homestand — the team played against the United States in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Stephenson is no stranger to firsts.

After breaking barriers in women's baseball, the native of Mississauga, Ont., continued trailblazing as she became the first woman to coach in the Canadian Futures Showcase hosted by the Blue Jays baseball academy in Ottawa last year.

"[I] never really imagined that I'd be able to have a career in the game let alone with my favourite team," Stephenson said.

The newly-appointed member of the Canadians staff won the Lionel Ruhr Elite Coach of the Year Award in November, becoming the first woman to do so.

In addition to her experience in the sport of baseball, Stephenson also played professional hockey in the National Women's Hockey League and the Canadian Women's Hockey League from 2005 to 2012.