READING, PA – After a first successful Where Are They Now article; I’ve decided to give it another kick at the can. This month, instead of looking at a player we will be taking a look at my favorite Reading Royals coach of all-time, Karl Taylor.
Before joining the Royals, Taylor was an assistant coach for two seasons at his alma mater the University of New Brunswick. At the turn of the century, he was the head coach at Red Deer College for three seasons. Coach Taylor would make one more stop before coming to Reading, spending two seasons as the head coach of the hockey team at the University of Waterloo.
Before the team’s fifth anniversary season (’05-’06) the Royals named Karl Taylor the team’s fourth head coach in franchise history, Taylor replaced Derek Clancey who left the team to become an assistant coach for the Royals’ AHL affiliate, Manchester Monarchs.
With Taylor behind the bench, the Royals finished their fifth anniversary season with a record of 42-23-7, good for 91 points in the standings, and finished in third place in the East Division. The team would finish the season with a 21.2% on the power-play which was good for the third best in the entire league. Along with the third-best power-play in the league, the Royals had the third best penalty kill in the league at 85.4%. The Royals would go on and lose to the Wheeling Nailers in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in four games.
The next season, the Royals would come back to Earth, finishing the season with a record of 32-33-7, good for sixth place in the North Division, and an early offseason. The Royals would return to the Kelly Cup playoffs in the 2007-08 season, finishing the season with 84 points, a record of 38-26-8 good for third place in the North Division. The Royals would eventually lose to the Cincinnati Cyclones in seven games in the 2008 North Division Finals. The Cyclones would go on and win the Kelly Cup that year.
Little did Royals fans know that the 2007-08 season would be Taylor’s final season behind the bench in Reading. During the offseason, he headed west to coach the expansion Ontario Reign. Karl’s record while coaching the Royals was 112-82-22 with a win percentage of .569 which at the time was the highest winning percentage for a head coach in Reading Royals history. His 112 wins are second highest in team history only behind Larry Courville who has 190 wins.
While in Reading, Taylor would be the coach of six players that would eventually make it to the NHL. The players were Rich Peverley, Jonathan Quick, Danny Taylor, Deryk Engelland, Yutaka Fukufuji, and Bracken Kearns.
While in Ontario, Karl was not only the team’s first head coach in franchise history he was also the director of hockey operations. The team would only make the playoff once in Karl’s three seasons in Ontario but lost in the first round. His career record at Ontario was 96-99-22. Finishing his ECHL coaching record (for the time being) at 208-181-44.
He would spend the next season up in the AHL as an assistant coach with the Chicago Wolves his only season with the Wolves. He would coach Antoine Roussel who spent five games the year before with the Reading Royals. From Chicago, Taylor would join the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League as an assistant coach for the 2013-14 season. After spending one year in the WHL, on July 8, 2014, the Dallas Stars named Taylor an assistant coach for their AHL affiliate and reigning Calder Cup Champions, the Texas Stars and has been with the Stars ever since.