Longtime Los Angeles Jr. Kings coach Jack Bowkus passed away peacefully on Saturday at his home surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer.
This past season, Jack guided the Jr. Kings’ 14U AAA team to a California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) state and Pacific District regional championship earning a berth to the USA Hockey National Championships.
One of the most experienced and respected youth hockey coaches in all of North America, Jack was a fixture in the Southern California coaching circles for over 20 years.
Between the California Wave and Jr. Kings programs, he guided his teams to a number of CAHA state and Pacific District regional titles, along with a handful of trips to the USA Hockey National Championships where his teams finished runner-up three times.
Along the way, the Michigan native 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, Jack continued to work with NHL, NCAA and high-level junior players in the offseason.
Jack, 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.
Jack was also the owner of the highly successful Cali Prospects Camp, which has been showcased annually for over 10 years at El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Performance Center.
He is survived by his son, Austin, a former Jr. Kings player; parents Ray and Margaret; brothers Jared and John; and sister JoAnn.