LUDEK BUKAC’s charges nearly collected Canada’s scalp in the quarterfinals at the 1992 Winter Olympic in France. In the historic shoot-out after overtime, the Germans literally fell inches short. Nevertheless, the Czechoslovak coach made Olympic history at the Albertville Games, anyway.
Bukac became the first man to coach the ice hockey teams of three different countries at the Winter Olympics. The former international led his native Czechoslovakia to the silver medal at Sarajevo in 1984 and guided Austria at the Calgary Games four years later. Bukac, who was behind the bench at two Olympics for Germany, was later the national team coach of the Czech Republic.
Bukac never played for Czechoslovakia at the Winter Games but did skate at the IIHF World Championships in 1961 and 1963.
Upon retirement as a player, Bukac went into coaching and served as an assistant for the Oklahoma City Blazers of the old Central Hockey League for the 1965-66 season; the Blazers were a farm club for the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins.
The next year, the former Sparta Prague forward found himself in the Soviet Union on the staff of all-powerful army club, CSKA Moscow. Bukac then returned home and spent the next thirteen seasons working in the Czechoslovak elite league for Sparta Prague, VSZ Kosice and Motor Ceske Budejovice.
Bukac was appointed the coach of Czechoslovakia’s national team to start the 1980-81 campaign after serving as an assistant for the squad at the Lake Placid Games the previous winter. The well-traveled coach can claim two titles at the IIHF World Champinships on his resume — one for Czechoslovakia in 1985 and another for the Czech Republic in 1996.
LUDEK BUKAC’s coaching record at major international events :
- 35 won 20 lost 11 tied — Czechoslovakia — (81-86)
- 15 won 15 lost 4 tied — Austria — (87-91)
- 16 won 16 lost 1 tied — Germany — (92-94)
- 11 won 4 lost 1 tied — Czech Republic — (95-96)