The Admirals have named Karl Taylor as their new head coach. The announcement was made Friday by Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile.
Taylor comes to Milwaukee after spending the past four seasons with the AHL’s Texas Stars as an assistant. The 21st head coach in Admirals history replaces Dean Evason, who left to become an assistant with the NHL’s 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 just short of 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," said Predators Director of Player Development and Milwaukee General Manager Scott Nichol. "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 the Stars, Taylor spent one season as an assistant for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks in 2013-14, who 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 going 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.
According to the Admirals, Taylor played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Windsor Spitfires, London Knights and North Bay Centennials, tallying 35 points in 137 games from 1988 to '91. Taylor 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.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.