Steph Cox in, Ben Dragavon out for Seattle Reign

On Thursday, Seattle Reign FC announced that former Reign defender Steph Cox has joined the team as an assistant coach. Cox played for the Reign from 2013 to 2015. She also had 89 caps with the United States Women’s national team from 2005 to 2013.

In her time with the Reign, she made 48 appearances and helped lead the team to back-to-back NWSL Shields. She was also named NWSL’s Second XI in 2014 and 2015.

“I am so honored and excited to be joining the Reign FC coaching staff,” said Cox in a statement released by the club. “After almost 10 years of playing professionally and internationally, I have the highest regard and admiration for the coaching ability and education of Laura [Harvey] and Sam [Laity]. Not only do they create a positive environment for the players, but they are great developers and help the players perform at their highest level.”

Cox continued; “I hope I can bring a player’s perspective to the coaching staff. My focus will be primarily on the backline. This season we have the most defenders that we have ever had, and I want to help them all develop and be prepared for their role and maximize their different opportunities on the field.”

Head coach and general manager Laura Harvey talked about it being “different in 2016” without Cox. “I spoke with her and said I’d love her to be part of our staff in any way that she could. Her experience and knowledge of the game and what she can give back to the players in terms of things she went through is massive. She’s someone the players can really speak to and learn from both on the mental side of the game and tactically as well.”

The club also announced that goalkeeper coach Ben Dragavon has stepped down from his role. He will be replaced by Doug Herrick, who has served as assistant goalkeeper coach earlier this season.

“I'd like to thank Ben for his commitment to the club over the past four seasons. I wish him every success in his future endeavors,” said Harvey. “We’re pleased that Doug has been able to seamlessly transition into the role and are excited to have him as a member of the coaching staff.”