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Wally Buono CM
BC Lions GM Wally Buono
Born: (1950-02-07) February 7, 1950 (age 73)
Potenza, Italy
Career information
Position(s)General manager
Head Coach
CollegeIdaho State University
Career history
As administrator
19922002Calgary Stampeders (GM)
20032017BC Lions (GM)
As coach
1982Montreal Junior Concordes (Coach)
19831985Montreal Concordes (AC)
1986Montreal Alouettes (AC)
19871989Calgary Stampeders (AC)
19902002Calgary Stampeders (HC)
20032011, 2016–2018BC Lions (HC)
As player
19721981Montreal Alouettes
Career highlights and awards
AwardsAnnis Stukus Trophy (1992, 1993, 2006, 2011)
HonoursGrey Cup champion
As player: 1974, 1977
As coach: 1992, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2011
RecordsMost regular-season wins by a head coach (282)
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] CM (born February 7, 1950) is a Canadian ex-football coach currently working as the vice president of football operations, alternate governor and the former head coach of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL), and one of the most successful head coaches in league history. He has spent 22 years as head coach of the Calgary Stampeders and the 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 in 2011 with a CFL record 254 regular-season wins as head coach, to focus on duties as general manager for the Lions. In 2016, Buono came out of retirement to coach the Lions again through the 2018 season. In the final home game of the 2018 season, Buono was honored with the Bob Ackles Award as he was retiring from football with the most wins as a coach.

Long before coaching Buono was a linebacker and punter for 10 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes, appearing in 152 consecutive games, not missing one, and in five Grey Cup games between 1972 and 1981, winning two in 1974 and 1977.

Buono's post-season coaching record is 23–17, 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

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 Montréal-Nord, Quebec and being encouraged by CFL all-star Al Phaneuf, a Christian who was coaching a youth football team at one of Montreal’s parks (who invited Buono to join the team.)[6][7][8] Soon after, he began playing minor football in Montreal, Quebec.

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 consecutive games, not missing one in his career. He appeared in five Grey Cups between 1974 and 1979, winning two in 1974 and 1977.

Career regular season statistics

CFL Statistics Interceptions Punting
Year Team GP # Yds Ave. Lg TD # Yds Ave. Lg S
1972 Montreal 14 - - - - - 33 1156 35.0 48 0
1973 Montreal 14 2 19 9.5 10 0 102 3934 38.6 74 3
1974 Montreal 16 1 27 27.0 27 0 27 1025 38.0 50 0
1975 Montreal 16 - - - - - - - - - -
1976 Montreal 16 - - - - - - - - - -
1977 Montreal 16 2 7 3.5 7 0 43 1738 40.4 63 0
1978 Montreal 16 4 61 15.2 33 0 120 5241 43.7 90 8
1979 Montreal 16 2 -5 -2.5 2 0 132 5240 39.7 60 4
1980 Montreal 16 - - - - - 3 110 36.7 38 0
1981 Montreal 16 - - - - - 65 2626 40.4 65 1
Totals 11 109 9.9 33 0 525 21070 40.1 90 16

Coaching career

Montreal Junior Concordes

In 1982, after his retirement as a player, Buono served as a coach with the Montreal Junior Concordes.

Montreal Concordes & Montreal Alouettes

From 1983 to 1985, he was an assistant coach with the Montreal Concordes, and then in 1986 with the Montreal Alouettes.

Calgary Stampeders

From 1987 to 1989, Buono served as an assistant coach with the Calgary Stampeders under head coaches Bob Vespaziani and Lary Kuharich.

Head Coach

In 1990, Buono was hired as Calgary's head coach by Stampeders president Norman Kwong. Calgary defeated Edmonton in the final game of the regular season to clinch first place in the West Division for the first time since 1971. Calgary would lose the West Final at home to Edmonton 43-23.

In 1991, Calgary finished second in the West, defeated the BC Lions in the Semi-Final, and beat Edmonton in the West Final in Edmonton. This was Calgary's first meaningful win in Edmonton since 1980. Calgary qualified for the Grey Cup for the first time since 1971, but ultimately lost to Toronto 36-21.

In 1992, Buono added General Manager to his title. Calgary finished with the most wins in the CFL for the first time since 1967. Calgary beat Winnipeg 24-10 in the Grey Cup, the team's first Grey Cup win since 1971. Buono was named CFL Coach of the Year for the first time.[9]

In 1993, under Buono's leadership, Calgary started 10-0, and finished 15-3. Calgary was hosting the Grey Cup, but the Stampeders ended up losing the West Final at home to Edmonton, who would go on to win the Grey Cup. Buono was named CFL Coach of the Year for the second time.[9]

Going into the 1994 season, Buono's Calgary teams had never lost a regular season game before August 1. In game 1 on July 8 in Saskatchewan, it looked like this streak would continue as Calgary held a 21-0 lead going into the third quarter. However, Saskatchewan scored 22 second half points, including the winning touchdown on the last play of the game. Despite this setback, Calgary finished 15-3, and scored a league record 698 points. Calgary's season would end much like it started, when BC came to Calgary for the West Final, and scored the winning touchdown on the last play of the game. BC would go on to win the Grey Cup.

In 1995, perennial outstanding quarterback, Doug Flutie, suffered an injury. In his absence, Jeff Garcia emerged, and helped guide Calgary to another 15-3 season. Calgary would come up short in the Grey Cup, losing 37-20 against the Baltimore Stallions, the first American team to win the Grey Cup.

Calgary would finish first in 1996 and second in 1997 (the year Buono earned his 100th win as a head coach),[10] but did not win any playoff games. In 1998, Calgary finished first, defeated Edmonton in the West Final, and played Hamilton in the Grey Cup. Trailing by 1 point late in the game, Garcia engineered a drive which would allow placekicker Mark McLoughlin to kick the game-winning field goal. Calgary won 26-24, giving Buono his second Grey Cup win as a head coach.

In his final 4 seasons in Calgary, Buono reached the Grey Cup twice, losing in 1999, and winning in 2001 with a team that won 8 regular season games.

In Buono's 13 seasons as Calgary's head coach, he amassed a regular season record of 153–79–2. His 153 wins placed him second all-time in CFL history for a head coach at the time, and were the most wins for a CFL Head Coach with a single team.

He led the Stampeders to the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons, including 8 first-place finishes and 5 straight from 1992 to 1996, and 11 Division Final appearances. His teams only missed the playoffs once, in 2002. The Stampeders went to 6 Grey Cup games under Buono, winning 3: 1992, 1998, and 2001, and losing 3: 1991, 1995, 1999. He left the franchise as its winningest coach in championships, allegedly only leaving because the Stampeders attempted to force him to play Kevin Feterik, the owner's son, as the starting quarterback, a charge both the Feteriks denied.[11]

BC Lions

Buono 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.[12]

In 2014, he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.[9]

From 2012 through the 2015 CFL season the Lions failed to win any playoff games, despite making the playoffs all four seasons. On December 2, 2015, the Lions announced that Buono would resume his position as head coach for the 2016 CFL season after head coach Jeff Tedford announced his resignation following a disappointing 7-11 season.[13] On March 2, 2016, the Lions announced that they had extended Wally Buono's contract (as a head-coach/GM) through the 2017 CFL season.[14]

Following the 2017 season, Buono announced he was relinquishing the General Manager position in order to focus on his head coaching duties. Ed Hervey was hired as the new GM of the Lions. Buono retains his position as the Vice President of Football Operations. Buono also stated that 2018 will be his final year as head coach.[15] With 129 wins over two stints, he is the winningest coach in Lions history, and one of the few coaches to top the all-time wins list with two CFL teams.

Style

Buono, along with John Hufnagel,[16] Calgary's offensive coordinator under Buono from 1990 to 1996, and Tedford,[16] an offensive assistant coach in Calgary in the early 1990s, implemented an offensive system that Buono used throughout his coaching career.[17] The five- and six-receiver package became a staple in Buono's teams' offences.[16] Also, Buono felt it was important that backup quarterbacks get sufficient time in practice to develop.[17]

Calgary under Buono went to Grey Cups with the following starting quarterbacks: Danny Barrett, Flutie (2), Garcia, Dave Dickenson, and Marcus Crandell. In BC, Buono's starting quarterbacks in Grey Cup games were Dickenson (2) and Travis Lulay. Other quarterbacks who had success under Buono were Henry Burris,[17] Mike McCoy, Ben Sankey, Casey Printers, Spergon Wynn, Buck Pierce,[17] Jarious Jackson, and Jonathon Jennings.

CFL coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
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 79th Grey Cup
CGY 1992 13 5 0 .722 1st in West Division 2 0 Won 80th 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 83rd 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 86th Grey Cup
CGY 1999 12 6 0 .667 2nd in West Division 2 1 Lost in 87th 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 89th 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 92nd 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 94th 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 99th Grey Cup
BC 2016 12 6 0 .667 2nd in West Division 1 1 Lost in Division Final
BC 2017 7 11 0 .389 5th in West Division
BC 2018 9 9 0 .500 4th in West Division 0 1 Lost in Division Semi-Finals
BC Total 129 86 1 .600 5 West Division
Championships
8 9 2 Grey Cups
Total 282 165 3 .630 13 West Division
Championships
23 18 5 Grey Cups

Wally Buono Award

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.[18] 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:

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2011-07-08.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Wally's World: Buono becomes all-time leader in coaching wins". TSN.ca. 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  4. ^ The Canadian Press (2007-02-13). "Buono named CFL's coach of the year". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  5. ^ "Wally Buono named 2011 Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  6. ^ Wally’s Way: How Wally Buono became the CFL’s most iconic coach
  7. ^ From hockey fan to football legend
  8. ^ Wally Buono’s ‘unbelievable journey’ to Canadian Football Hall of Fame
  9. ^ a b c "Wally Buono". Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  10. ^ "Landry: 100 wins later, Hufnagel has changed the CFL". CFL.ca. 2015-10-24. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  11. ^ "Family business". Deseret News. July 6, 2003. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "BC Lions :: Official Site of the BC Lions". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  13. ^ "Wally Buono back as Lions coach after Jeff Tedford resigns". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  14. ^ "Wally Buono signs contract extension with B.C. Lions". Ottawa Sun. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  15. ^ "Lions name Hervey GM; Buono to coach last season in 2018". CFL.ca. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  16. ^ a b c "Offences can thank 'Huff' for six-pack air attack". CFL.ca. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  17. ^ a b c d "Buono's secret QB formula". CFL.ca. 2006-08-15. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  18. ^ "Wally Buono Award".
  19. ^ "All-Canadian Dylan Chapdelaine wins Wally Buono award | B.C. Lions". Archived from the original on 2015-05-25. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  20. ^ "Michael Schaper receives 2011 Wally Buono Award | B.C. Lions". bclions.com. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Le Soleil de Châteauguay Raiders' Jean-Louis wins Wally Buono award". Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  22. ^ "Andrew Harris Claims 2009 Wally Buono Award". bclions.com. BC Lions. November 4, 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  23. ^ "B.C. Lions". Archived from the original on 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  24. ^ "13th Man".
  25. ^ http://www.universitysport.ca/e/story_detail0605.cfm?id=7439[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Press Release Distribution".
  27. ^ "Ciezki wins yet another Junior football award - Sherwood Park News - Alberta, CA". www.sherwoodparknews.com. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  28. ^ [2]