Al Bruno

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Al Bruno
Date of birth: (1927-03-28)March 28, 1927
Place of birth: West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of death: October 5, 2014(2014-10-05) (aged 87)
Place of death: Port Charlotte, Florida, USA
Career information
Position(s): End
Height: 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
College: University of Kentucky[1]
High school: West Chester High School
The Perkiomen School[1]
NFL Draft: 1951 / Round: 3 / Pick: 32
Organizations
As administrator:
1982–1983

1990
1991
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Director of Player Personnel)
BC Lions (Head pro scout)
Buffalo Bills (Scout)
As coach:
1958–1960
196219–65
1966–1967
1968–1970
1971–1981
1983–1990
1994–1996
London Lords (HC)
West Chester HS (PA) (HC)
Ottawa Rough Riders (assistant)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (assistant)
Harvard (OC)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (HC)
McMaster (HC)
As player:
1952–1954
1954
1955–1956
1958–1960
Toronto Argonauts
Ottawa Rough Riders
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
London Lords
Career highlights and awards
Awards: Annis Stukus Trophy (1986)
Honors: Member of the Kentucky Athletics' Hall of Fame (2008)
Member of the Chester County Sports Hall of Fame (2008)
West Chester Henderson High School Hall of Fame (2004)

Albert P. "Al" Bruno (March 28, 1927 – October 5, 2014) was a gridiron football player, administrator, and coach who served as the head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1983 to 1990.

Early life[edit]

He was born in 1927 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.[1] A graduate of West Chester High School and The Perkiomen School, Bruno attended the University of Kentucky from 1948 to 1951. He played end on Kentucky Wildcats football team, played forward for the Wildcats basketball team, and was a member of the track team.[1]

In his senior season, Bruno caught 38 passes for 589 yards and 10 touchdowns and was named third-team All America by both AP and UPI. His single-season school record for receiving yards stood until 1964 and his single-season record for touchdown receptions held until 1998.[2]

Bruno played nine games during the Wildcats 1948–49 championship winning basketball season, averaging 2.2 points per game.[1]

Bruno is one of only three Wildcats to have played for Hall of Fame coaches Bear Bryant in football and Adolph Rupp in basketball.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Bruno was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 1951 NFL Draft, but chose to play for the Toronto Argonauts instead. He played two seasons for the Argonauts, one game for the Ottawa Rough Riders, two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and three seasons with the London Lords before a serious knee injury ended his playing career.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Bruno's coaching career began in 1958 a player-coach for the London Lords.[3] After his playing career ended, he returned to Pennsylvania to teach and coach football at his alma mater West Chester High School.[2]

In 1966 he returned to Canada as an assistant coach with the Ottawa Rough Riders.[4] He left the Riders in 1968 and joined the coaching staff of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[5] When head coach Joe Restic left to become head coach at Harvard, Bruno went with him to be the offensive coordinator.[6]

After 11 seasons as the Crimson's offensive coordinator, Bruno returned to Hamilton as Director of Player Personnel. In 1983, Bruno was named head coach after the firing of Bud Riley. The Tiger-Cats finished the season 2–1–1 and Bruno was given the coaching job permanently. Under Bruno's guidance, the Tiger-Cats appeared in the Grey Cup four times, winning one (1986).[7] He was placed on an indefinite leave of absence after suffering a mild heart attack during the 1987 season. Defensive Coordinator Ted Schmitz served as interim head coach for six games before Bruno returned. Bruno was fired 12 games into the 1990 season. At the time of his firing the Tiger-Cats had a 4–8 record and were on a five-game losing streak.[7]

After scouting for the BC Lions and the Buffalo Bills, Bruno was named the head coach of the New Mexico Rattlesnakes of the new Professional Spring Football League.[8] The PSFL folded before play began.

Bruno's final coaching job was at McMaster University, where he served as head coach from 1994 to 1996.[7] After his football career, Bruno and his wife, Marie, retired to Port Charlotte, Florida.[9]

Death[edit]

In October 2014, Bruno was admitted into a Port Charlotte hospital with kidney problems, after having lost one kidney several years prior. He died of heart failure at the hospital on October 5, 2014.[9]

Head coaching record[edit]

CFL[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
HAM 1983 2 1 1 .667 3rd in East Division 1 1 Lost in East Final
HAM 1984 6 9 1 .400 2nd in East Division 2 1 Lost Grey Cup
HAM 1985 8 8 0 .500 1st in East Division 1 1 Lost Grey Cup
HAM 1986 9 8 1 .529 2nd in East Division 2 1 Won Grey Cup
HAM 1987 6 6 0 .500 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Semifinal
HAM 1988 9 9 0 .500 3rd in East Division 0 1 Lost in East Semifinal
HAM 1989 12 6 0 .667 1st in East Division 1 1 Lost Grey Cup
HAM 1990 4 8 0 .33 4th in East Division 0 0 Fired
Total 56 55 3 .505 1 Division Championship 7 7 1 Grey Cup

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Al Bruno". Big Blue History.net. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d "AL BRUNO – ALL AMERICAN & PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL STAR". Chester County Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  3. ^ Jim Proudfoot (November 2, 1985). "Bruno thought return to CFL wouldn't last". Toronto Star. 
  4. ^ "Branby Out, Al Bruno In With Riders". CP. January 12, 1966. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  5. ^ "Gotta Joins Clair's Staff". CP. April 1, 1968. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  6. ^ "Restic Names Four Staffers". AP. March 2, 1971. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  7. ^ a b c Mary Ryan (January 8, 1998). "Been there, done that". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  8. ^ "Transactions". The Baltimore Sun. January 17, 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  9. ^ a b "Al Bruno brought Grey Cup to Hamilton in 1986". Hamilton Spectator. October 6, 2014.