BWAA past president and life member John Jowdy passes away


    United States

    PBA Hall of Famer and coaching pioneer was 93; led Bowling Writers Association of America in 1996

    ImageProfessional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer and pioneer bowling coach John Jowdy (pictured) of El Cajon, Calif., died today of natural causes. He was 93.

    Jowdy was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 1988 primarily for his coaching contributions but was also a prolific bowling writer and bowling industry advocate. He was president of the Bowling Writers Association of America in 1996 and was later voted a Life Member of the organization.

    "John Jowdy was one of the greatest minds in the history of our sport," said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. "He cared about bowling and its greatest players as much as anyone ever has. Anyone who had the chance to meet or know him is better for it, and will never forget him, his humor, his vast knowledge or his cigar."

    Jowdy began his coaching career by instructing youth bowlers in San Antonio, Texas, in the 1940s and '50s. Since the late '60s he had coached more than 100 professional and amateur men and women bowlers.

    He joined bowling ball manufacturer Columbia 300 in 1962 and worked for many years as the company's traveling salesman, public relations spokesman and PBA Tour representative. He is credited with the development of Team Columbia, a forerunner of the "pro staff" concept now utilized by all major bowling ball manufacturers.

    Most recently he was inducted into the Bowling Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010 in recognition of his coaching contributions to the sport. He also was inducted into the Texas Bowling Hall of Fame, the San Antonio Bowling Hall of Fame, the Bowling Writers Association of America (IBMA) Hall of Fame, and the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame (2001).

    In 2006, he was chosen as the International Bowling Coach of the Year by the World Bowling Writers. He was the recipient of bowling's Flowers for the Living Award in 1985.

    "John was an all-round pioneer in the sport," said fellow Hall of Famer and good friend Chuck Pezzano. "He was an expert in many areas of the sport and probably coached more professional bowlers than anybody. I remember seeing him at tournaments where players would line up to get advice from him. He was an advocate for women's bowling and what a lot of people don't know is that he was also a very good bowler."

    Jowdy also was instrumental in starting the John Jowdy Scholarship for high school and college bowlers, which Columbia 300 continues to sponsor in his honor.

    As a writer, Jowdy's columns appeared in dozens of bowling newspapers and magazines and he was the author of two books on the sport, Bowling Execution and Bowling Execution, Second Edition.

    "John had made peace with his life and was ready to move on," said Hall of Famer Marshall Holman who had recently talked to Jowdy.

    Service and memorial information will be released when it becomes available.