Wally Buono

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Wally Buono
BC Lions
Wally Buono (March 2009).jpg
BC Lions GM Wally Buono
Date of birth: (1950-02-07) February 7, 1950 (age 64)
Place of birth: Potenza, Italy
Career information
Position(s): General manager
College: Idaho State University
Organizations
As administrator:
19922002
2003–present
Calgary Stampeders (GM)
BC Lions (GM)
As coach:
1983
19871989
19902002
20032011
Montreal Concordes (AC)
Calgary Stampeders (AC)
Calgary Stampeders (HC)
BC Lions (HC)
As player:
19731982 Montreal Alouettes
Career highlights and awards
Awards: Annis Stukus Trophy (1992, 1993, 2006, 2011)
Honours: 7x Grey Cup champion – (1974, 1977, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2011)
Records: Most regular-season wins by a head coach (254), most first-place finishes by a head coach (13), most Grey Cup wins by a head coach (5)
Career stats

Pasquale "Wally" Buono[1][2] (born February 7, 1950) is the general manager, vice president of football operations and alternate governor of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, and one of the most successful head coaches in league history. He spent 22 years as head coach of the Calgary Stampeders and the BC Lions, which is tied for the most seasons coached all-time. On September 19, 2009, Buono became the CFL's all-time winningest coach when his Lions beat the Toronto Argonauts 23–17, giving him 232 regular-season victories, passing Don Matthews.[3] He retired with a CFL record 254 regular-season wins as head coach.

Buono's post-season coaching record is 22–16, with five Grey Cup victories in nine appearances. He won the Grey Cup championship in 1992, 1998 and 2001 as head coach of the Stampeders and in 2006 and 2011 as head coach of the Lions. He won the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL's Coach of the Year four times, in 1992, 1993, 2006, and 2011, second only to Don Matthews, who had five.[4][5]

Early years and playing career[edit]

Born in Potenza, Italy in 1950, Buono moved to Canada in 1953 with his family. He became interested in football after playing pick up games as a youth in Montreal-Nord. Soon after, he began playing minor football in Montreal.

Buono attended Idaho State University and was a linebacker for the ISU Bengals. He returned to Canada and played 10 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes as a linebacker and punter, appearing in 152 games. He appeared in five Grey Cups between 1972 and 1981, winning two in '74 and '77.

Coaching career[edit]

Calgary Stampeders[edit]

Shortly after his retirement, Buono landed an assistant coaching position with the Montreal Concordes (which the Alouettes had been renamed following a bankruptcy and an ownership change) in 1983. In 1987, he moved to Calgary and worked with the Calgary Stampeders under Larry Kuharich until 1990, when he was hired as head coach by Stampeders president Norman Kwong.

Buono served as head coach of the Calgary Stampeders for thirteen years (1990–2002), amassing a regular season record of 153–79–2, with eight first-place finishes, including five straight from 1992 to 1996, and missing the playoffs only once, in 2002. The Stampeders went to six Grey Cup games under Buono, winning three in 1992, 1998, and 2001, and losing three in 1991, 1995, 1999. He left the franchise as its winningest coach in terms of victories and championships.

BC Lions[edit]

Buono left the Stampeders in 2003 and was hired as head coach and general manager of the BC Lions prior to the 2003 season. In the first five seasons under Buono (2003–2007), the Lions went 62–27–1 in regular-season play, with five straight playoff appearances, four straight first-place finishes (2004–2007), and two Grey Cup appearances: a 27-19 loss to the Toronto Argonauts in 2004 and a 25-14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes in 2006. His teams went through a slight downturn for the following three seasons, including two that were under .500. His team returned to prominence in 2011 after they once again finished first in the west division and followed it with a 34-23 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 99th Grey Cup at home.

He announced his resignation as head coach of the Lions on December 5, 2011 to focus on his duties as general manager.[6]

In 2014, he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Style[edit]

Buono is often credited with developing some of the best CFL quarterbacks of his era, such as Doug Flutie, Jeff Garcia, Dave Dickenson and Travis Lulay. He is known as one of the best offensive minds in league history.[citation needed]

CFL coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post-season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
CGY 1990 11 6 1 .639 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY 1991 11 7 0 .611 2nd in West Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
CGY 1992 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY 1993 15 3 0 .833 1st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY 1994 15 3 0 .833 1st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY 1995 15 3 0 .833 1st in North Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
CGY 1996 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY 1997 10 8 0 .556 2nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
CGY 1998 12 6 0 .667 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY 1999 12 6 0 .667 2nd in West Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
CGY 2000 12 5 1 .694 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY 2001 8 10 0 .444 2nd in West Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY 2002 6 12 0 .333 5th in West Division - -
CGY Total 153 79 2 .659 8 West Division
Championships
15 9 3 Grey Cups
BC 2003 11 7 0 .611 4th in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BC 2004 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Grey Cup
BC 2005 12 6 0 .667 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC 2006 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
BC 2007 14 3 1 .806 1st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC 2008 11 7 0 .611 3rd in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC 2009 8 10 0 .444 4th in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC 2010 8 10 0 .444 3rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BC 2011 11 7 0 .611 1st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
BC Total 101 60 1 .627 5 West Division
Championships
7 7 2 Grey Cups
Total 254 139 3 .645 13 West Division
Championships
22 16 5 Grey Cups

Wally Buono Award[edit]

The Wally Buono Award was established in 2003 by The Saint Bernard Pass Charitable Foundation for the purpose of recognizing Canada's top junior football player. The award is a national award.[7] Recipients must prove their athletic and leadership ability on the field as well as a high level of leadership within their community. The Saint Bernard Pass Charitable Foundation is the Swiss based foundation of Christina Saint Marche. The winners of the award are as follows:

  • 2013 – QB Asher Hastings, Regina Thunder (PCF/CJFL)
  • 2012 – QB Jordan Yantz, Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC/CJFL)
  • 2011 – SB Michael Schaper, Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC/CJFL)[8]
  • 2010 – DL Kleevens Jean-Louis, Châteauguay Raiders (QJFL)[9]
  • 2009 – RB Andrew Harris, Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC/CJFL)[10]
  • 2008 – WR Cassidy Doneff, Calgary Colts (PFC/CJFL)[11]
  • 2007 – RB Tristan Jones, Edmonton Wildcats (PFC/CJFL)[12]
  • 2006 – QB Nate Friesen, Winnipeg Rifles (PFC/CJFL)[13]
  • 2005 – RB Jeff Halvorson, Posthumous, Okanagan Sun (BCFC/CJFL)[14]
  • 2004 – RB Chris Ciezki, Edmonton Huskies (PFC/CJFL)[15]
  • 2003 – RB Alan Giacalone, Calgary Colts (PFC/CJFL)[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Adam Rita
CFL Coach of the Year
1992–1993
Succeeded by
Don Matthews
Preceded by
Adam Rita
Don Matthews
Steve Buratto
Danny Maciocia
Marc Trestman
Grey Cup winning Head Coach
80th Grey Cup, 1992
86th Grey Cup, 1998
89th Grey Cup, 2001
94th Grey Cup, 2006
99th Grey Cup, 2011
Succeeded by
Ron Lancaster
Ron Lancaster
Don Matthews
Kent Austin
Scott Milanovich
Preceded by
Tom Higgins
CFL Coach of the Year
2006
Succeeded by
Kent Austin
Preceded by
Jim Barker
CFL Coach of the Year
2011
Succeeded by
Incumbent