Longtime Los Angeles Jr. Kings coach Jack Bowkus, who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, proved monumental helping shape California’s youth hockey landscape into what it is today. One of the most experienced and respected youth hockey coaches in all of North America, Jack Bowkus has been a fixture in the Southern California coaching circles for 20 years. Between the California Wave and Jr. Kings programs, he’s guided his teams to a number of California Amateur Hockey Association state and Pacific District regional championships, along with a handful of trips to the USA Hockey National Championships, where his teams have finished runner-up three times.
Along the way, the Michigan native has helped mentor and develop countless Southern Californians who’ve moved on to play professional, NCAA and high-level junior hockey. A former skills development coach with the Dallas Stars for 11 years, Bowkus continues to work with NHL, NCAA and high-level junior players in the offseason.
Bowkus, who served as head coach of the United States Hockey League’s Indiana Ice during the 2005-06 season, played four years of Major Junior with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League before embarking on a pro career that took him to the International Hockey League and ECHL. He also played six seasons in Europe.