Campus News

Who is Jess West?

December 13, 2021

Yvonne Gay

Photo portrait of a woman.
Head Field Hockey Coach Jess West.
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Athletics Department

Head Field Hockey Coach Jess West is in her happy place when she’s on the field. This might explain why she recalls playing during white-out conditions as a defensive player in college with such fondness. Learn more about West in this installment of Who Am I?


Full name: Jess West

Department and location on campus: Athletics located in the Jesse Philips Physical Education Center

Job title: Head Field Hockey Coach 

What does your job entail? I oversee everything within the field hockey program: recruitment of future Oberlin student athletes; planning and conducting practices, organizing team travel, budget management, purchasing equipment, program fundraising, and creating and maintaining alumni relationships.

How many years at Oberlin? I was hired in 2018 as assistant coach. I was named head coach in 2019. 

Where did you play field hockey and what was your position? I played defense: One season at Catawba College and three years at Messiah College (now Messiah University). 

What do you enjoy most about the sport? I love everything about the sport. I love the speed of the game and the skill involved. I am in my happy place when I play—I have an absolute blast. All my worries go away when there is a hockey stick in my hand. 

Your most memorable experience as a player? Attempting to play in a white-out during Halloween. We were not able to plow the field fast enough and had to cancel the game but we had a blast playing in the pouring snow. 

Best advice someone ever gave you, on or off the field? “Go hard, do good,” from my dad. It is a phrase he has told me ever since I can remember and something that continues to stick with me. 

Favorite movie? Titanic and A Knight’s Tale

Favorite place in Oberlin and why? Kim’s Grocery and Carry-out! It reminds me of my time spent in Korea and takes me back to some of my favorite childhood memories! 

Best vacation ever? Going to Saipan. History has always been one of my favorite things. What I remember the most, aside from the island’s obvious beauty, is the history of the island. 

Hobbies? Horseback riding, playing with my daughters, lifting [weights] and exercising, exploring fun places to eat with my husband, and traveling.

Nickname(s)? Tornado, J.P., j-paine, and West 

Favorite food? Korean 

Favorite quote or personal philosophy? I never had just one favorite quote. I have had many during the years from many different people who have made an impact on my life. 

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