German Elite League Hockey * English coverage of Germany's DEL Deutsche Eishockey Liga
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Tigers announce new head coach
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Januar 14, 2005; 11:35
Tigers announce new head coach
Augsburg's Laporte to succeed Greg Poss in 2005-06
Frank Johne

Greg Poss of the Nurnberg Ice Tigers
Greg Poss announced his DEL retirement in mid-December

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Munich, Germany - 44-year-old Canadian Benoit Laporte will succeed Greg Poss as head coach of the Nürnberg Ice Tigers in the 2005-06 season. The current head coach of DEL rival Augsburger Panther was signed to a one-year deal, the club announced in a Friday press release.

Benoit Laporte, new head coach of the Nurnberg Ice Tigers
Benoit Laporte will be the new head man behind the Ice Tigers bench next season
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Montreal-native Laporte came into the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in 2003. The Panthers were 26-26 in his first year, finishing 9th overall and missing a playoff spot by only four points. Augsburg is way below the .500-mark this season, but is still competing for a postseason spot at 14-22.

Laporte's signing comes only four weeks after Nuremberg's current coach Greg Poss announced he would step down from his head coaching job at the end of the 2004-05 season. The 39-year-old American, who is in his second season with the Tigers, wants to focus on his job on the international stage with Team Germany, where he debuted as the head man behind the bench in November.

A former forward for the Hull Olympiques, Trois Rivieres Draveurs, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL), New-Brunswick Hawks and St.-Catharines Saints (AHL), Laporte started out his coaching career in France as a player-coach for Rouen in 1994. He won the French title in 1995 and added another ring with Asiago of the Italian league in 2001. He also coached in Switzerland, with Lausanne between 1997 and 2000.

He characterizes himself as "tough but fair. Both the team and the coaches have to work on themselves – from the first day of camp to the final game of the season". Nuremberg hopes that Laporte can continue Poss' philosophy of teaming up veteran import players with aspiring German prospects.
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