ONTARIO, Calif. - Coaching hockey is nothing new for Greg Poss. For the 44-year-old native of Green Bay, Wis., however, coaching in North America is a novel experience.
So, after bouncing around Europe as a head coach and an assistant for 17 years, Poss is ready for a homecoming of sorts as a volunteer assistant for Reign coach Karl Taylor.
"I've heard a lot of positive things about Karl, as a coach and as a leader," Poss said. "I came to come to learn from him and about the North American way of doing things. I've played here but my coaching career's all taken place in Europe, so I'm very grateful for the opportunity."
Poss has an impressive coaching resume that recently included three seasons at the helm of Mannheim in the DEL, the top league in Germany, where he guided the Eagles to a championship in 2007.
Before joining Mannheim, Poss was head coach of the Nuremburg Ice Tigers for two years (2003-05) and the Iserlohn Roosters for six seasons (1997-2003). His international experience includes two years (2004-05) as head coach of the German national team, where he coached NHL players Marco Sturm, Olaf Kolzig, Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc and Jochen Hecht.
He's also served as an assistant coach for Team USA in the Deutschland Cup, a tournament pitting the best European-based players against each other according to their native countries. In its most recent installment, he assisted head coach Peter Laviolette (now head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers) on the silver medal-winning Team USA in November.
Poss is used to running the show, but he is looking forward to being a full-time assistant.
"Sometimes if you're the head guy, you have your ideas and you're doing your things," he said. "It's really a breath of fresh air as an assistant to sit back and watch, pick up little small things and big things, that will make me a better coach in the future."
Poss, the first assistant coach in the Reign's season and a half of existence, has been at work for a week, drawing up drills in practice and patrolling the bench Wednesday in the Reign's loss to the Bakersfield Condors.