Billy Jack Bowen, the winningest baseball coach in high school history, has announced his retirement as head coach at Silo (Okla.)
. His legacy includes 2,252 career wins and 24 state championships.
"I've been thinking about this for a while and worked tremendously hard at it and just decided it was the time to move on to something else," Bowen said via press release. "I've put in my time, and it's been good. I'm still in good health, but you just kind of know when you know. I didn't need any fanfare. I came in simple to the job here 23 years ago and was just going to go out the same way."
The numbers that mark Bowen's career are staggering. He has coached 74 seasons – 37 in the spring and 37 in the fall – and a total of 2,679 games. He collected his 24th state championship last week with a 6-5 win over Amber-Pocasset. The title was also the sixth in a row for Silo. Bowen retires with an .841 winning percentage (2,252-427).
"We hoped it would work when we came to Silo, and it has," Bowen said. "I feel good about it. Nobody can imagine what has taken place here in the last 23 years. It's been really good, and it's been really fun. That's why you don't have any regrets. I've worked hard at it and hard work has paid off."
Bowen was the National Baseball Coach of the Year in 2022 by the National Federation of High Schools. He is a two-time Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association coach of the year and he will be inducted into the association's Hall of Fame this summer. The Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame previously inducted Bowen in 2004.
With Bowen's retirement, Mike Turo of Monroe Campus (Bronx, N.Y.)
is the active leader in career wins with 1,456 as of May 17. Turo was already the active leader for spring-only coaches. Bowen's career split included 1,162 spring wins and 1,090 fall wins.
"I feel good about where the program is at," Bowen said. "We've got good players and good kids. The program here at Silo is still in good shape and it's going to be good for years to come."