American Football Database
Al Bruno
Personal information
Date of birth: March 28, 1927
Place of birth: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Career information
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A

Albert P. "Al" Bruno (born March 28, 1927 in West Chester, Pennsylvania)[1] is a retired gridiron football player, administrator, and coach who served as the head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1983–1990.

Early life

A graduate of West Chester High School and The Perkiomen School, Bruno attended the University of Kentucky from 1948–1951. He played Offensive and Defensive 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 (Football) and Adolph Rupp (Basketball).[2]

Playing career

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

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 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.[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 1994–1996.[7]

Coaching record

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bigbluehistory
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "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.,1876310&dq. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  5. "Gotta Joins Clair's Staff". CP. April 1, 1968.,137335&dq. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  6. "Restic Names Four Staffers". AP. March 2, 1971.,422247&dq. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Mary Ryan (January 8, 1998). "Been there, done that". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.,2555368&dq. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  8. "Transactions". The Baltimore Sun. January 17, 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-23.