Texas Stars Assistant Coach Karl Taylor Named Milwaukee's Head Coach

(Credit: Texas Stars)
When you go deep in the playoffs, opportunities arise for everyone in the organization. The coaching ranks are no exception as assistant coach Karl Taylor was named the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals this morning.

Taylor has been the assistant for Texas since 2014-15, running the defense and penalty kill during that time. He becomes the 21st head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals after Dean Evason headed to the NHL this offseason to become an assistant with Minnesota.

This is the first time that Texas has had just one of the two coaching jobs open at one time. Each of the previous assistant coaches (Paul Jerrard, Jeff Truitt, and Doug Lidster) left at the same time as their paired head coach.

Here's the release from Milwaukee:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that Karl Taylor has been hired as head coach of the Admirals.

Taylor, a 47-year-old native of North Bay, Ont., comes to Milwaukee after spending four seasons with the AHL’s Texas Stars as an assistant coach. He is the 21st Head Coach in Admirals history, replacing Dean Evason who took an assistant coaching position with the Minnesota Wild.

“Karl comes highly recommended to us with a diverse skillset to coach and develop players, and we are happy to promote him to a position where he will take care of our top prospects,” Poile said. “We always say the road to Nashville runs through Milwaukee, and are confident that Karl will continue that legacy.”

In Texas, Taylor’s teams went a combined 152-108-30-14 and made the playoffs in three of his four seasons. His tenure was headlined by the Stars’ appearance in last season’s Calder Cup Finals, where they came one game from claiming the AHL title, falling to the Toronto Marlies in Game 7. With Taylor behind the bench, Texas earned at least 90 points in three seasons, including the 2017-18 season’s 90-point effort (38-24-8-6) that culminated with the AHL’s Western Conference Championship.

“This is an exciting time for the Nashville Predators, the Milwaukee Admirals and for Karl and his family,” Predators Director of Player Development and Milwaukee General Manager Scott Nichol said. “He comes to us with a great coaching pedigree and fantastic communication skills across many different levels working with both veteran and young players. For four seasons, he has been the only assistant coach on a Texas club that came within one game of a 2018 Calder Cup title, and now it is his time to take the next step up to being a head coach at the American Hockey League level.”

Prior to joining Texas, Taylor spent one season as an assistant coach for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks in 2013-14, where they finished second in the WHL’s regular-season standings with 113 points (54-13-5 record). Taylor helped guide the Winterhawks to the WHL Finals as the 2014 WHL Western Conference Champions, where they fell to the Edmonton Oil Kings in seven games.

Before jumping to the WHL, Taylor served as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves in 2011-12 and was a head coach in the ECHL for six seasons from 2005-11. He was at the helm of the Reading Royals from 2005-08, making the playoffs in two of his three campaigns, amassing a 112-82-22 record in the process. Taylor then became the first head coach of the ECHL’s Ontario Reign from 2008-11, leading them to the playoffs in their inaugural season. He finished second in the John Brophy Award voting for ECHL coach of the year in 2008-09.

Taylor played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Windsor Spitfires, London Knights and North Bay Centennials, tallying 35 points (16g-19a) in 137 games from 1988-91. Following his junior career, he played for the University of New Brunswick from 1991-95, serving as an alternate captain in his final three seasons. Taylor also spent time as a head coach at Red Deer College in Alberta and the University of Waterloo before landing his first professional coaching job.

Taylor and the Admirals will play their home opener on Saturday, October 13 at 6 pm at Panther Arena, while the rest of the schedule will be released later this summer