Jets head coach Rick Bowness calls it quits after 38-season NHL career

After leading the Winnipeg Jets to one of the most successful regular seasons in franchise history, head coach Rick Bowness is hanging up the skates.

Bowness, 69, announced his retirement Monday after coaching 38 seasons in the NHL — days after he was selected as a finalist for this year’s Jack Adams Award, honouring the league’s top coach.

With 2,726 games behind an NHL bench, Bowness holds the NHL record for games coached, and he’s one of only three coaches in league history to have served as a coach in five different decades — an elite group that includes Hall of Famers Scotty Bowman and Pat Quinn.

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As of this past season, he was the last active NHL coach to have been behind the bench in the 1980s.

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During his time with the current incarnation of the Jets, Bowness posted a 98-57-9 record, as well as two playoff appearances, plus a personal highlight when he was named an all-star — but his connection to Winnipeg dates back much further.

In a professional playing career from 1975 to 1984, Bowness spent 45 games in a Jets uniform, and went on to become an assistant coach for the first NHL incarnation of the Jets shortly after retirement as a player. In 1988-89, he was the Jets’ head coach for 28 games.

After the current Jets’ early ouster in round one of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs, Bowness told media he was mulling his future, ultimately deciding to call it quits Monday.

Click to play video: 'RAW: Winnipeg Jets Rick Bowness Interview – May 2'

RAW: Winnipeg Jets Rick Bowness Interview – May 2

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