Former Steelers linebacker Myles Jack and his mother, LaSonjia, have made history in hockey after becoming the owners of the Allen Americans of the ECHL in Allen, Texans. By becoming the team’s majority owner, Jack is the first African-American majority owner of a professional hockey team.
“From the football field to the business world, I have always brought passion and leadership to my teams,” Jack said in a statement on the team’s website. “The opportunity to lead this franchise and serve our great fans is an incredible responsibility. I’m excited to bring a first-class, family-friendly entertainment option to this community alongside our great partners.”
Jack and his mother will own the Ottawa Senators’ ECHL affiliate. The Americans enter their 15th season in the ECHL. This barrier continues to be broken in hockey, as San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier became the first general manager in NHL history in 2022.
In August, Jack decided to hang up his cleats after joining the Philadelphia Eagles for training camp, announcing his retirement. Jack, 27, had told reporters that he was at home and considered taking up a trade while waiting for a call from the NFL after the Steelers released him in a salary cap-related move in March. Now, it appears that he will find his next calling in sports in hockey.
Jack spent just one season in Pittsburgh, leading the Steelers in tackles in 2022 with 104, but he didn’t create any splash plays, recording just three tackles for loss and no sacks or turnovers.
The second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft out of UCLA, Jack was an immediate starter playing right outside linebacker, middle linebacker, and left outside linebacker over his six seasons with the team.
Jack played in 88 games and started 82 of them or the Jags. He recorded 513 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions and 15 passes defended. His best statistical season was in 2020 when he had a career-high 118 tackles and six tackles for loss while playing in just 14 games.
A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Mack attended high school in Bellevue, Washington, and was a running back before becoming a linebacker. He also was a state champion in track, running the 200-meter, 400-meter, 4 x 100, and 4 x 400-meter relays.
In 2013 at UCLA, he was the Pac-12 offensive and defensive freshman of the year playing running back and linebacker, as well as freshman All-American honors. He was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award. He was chosen as an All-Pac 12 selection at linebacker in 2014 while still playing some linebacker, but he lost the 2015 season due to a torn meniscus in his knee. He entered the draft after playing just two seasons with the Bruins.