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Wally Buono
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BC Lions GM Wally Buono
Personal information
Date of birth: (1950-02-07) February 7, 1950 (age 69)
Place of birth: Potenza, Italy
Career information
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A

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 careerEdit

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 careerEdit

Calgary StampedersEdit

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 most winningest coach in terms of victories and championships.

BC LionsEdit

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, 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 sub .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]

StyleEdit

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.

CFL coaching recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
WonLostTiesWin %Finish Won Lost Result
CGY1990 1161.6391st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY1991 1170.6112nd in West Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
CGY1992 1350.7221st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY1993 1530.8331st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY1994 1530.8331st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY1995 1530.8331st in North Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
CGY1996 1350.7221st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY1997 1080.5562nd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
CGY1998 1260.6671st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY1999 1260.6672nd in West Division 2 1 Lost in Grey Cup
CGY2000 1251.6941st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
CGY2001 8100.4442nd in West Division 3 0 Won Grey Cup
CGY2002 6120.3335th in West Division - -
CGY Total 153792.6598 West Division
Championships
1593 Grey Cups
BC2003 1170.6114th in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BC2004 1350.7221st in West Division 1 1 Lost in Grey Cup
BC2005 1260.6671st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC2006 1350.7221st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
BC2007 1431.8061st in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC2008 1170.6113rd in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC2009 8100.4444th in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Finals
BC2010 8100.4443rd in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BC2011 1170.6111st in West Division 2 0 Won Grey Cup
BC Total 101601.6275 West Division
Championships
772 Grey Cups
Total 2541393.64513 West Division
Championships
22165 Grey Cups

Wally Buono AwardEdit

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:

  • 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]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Lary Kuharich
Calgary Stampeders Head Coaches
1990–2002
Succeeded by
Jim Barker
Preceded by
Adam Rita
BC Lions Head Coaches
2003–2011
Succeeded by
Mike Benevides
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
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
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