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Wally Buono CM
BC Lions
Wally Buono (March 2009).jpg
BC Lions GM Wally Buono
Born: (1950-02-07) February 7, 1950 (age 71)
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
1983Montreal Concordes (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)
Honours7x Grey Cup champion – (1974, 1977, 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 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.

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. 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 games. He appeared in five Grey Cups between 1972 and 1981, winning two in '74 and '77.

Coaching career

Calgary Stampeders

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 Stampeders for thirteen years (1990–2002), amassing a regular season record of 153–79–2, far and away the most wins in Stampeders history. He led the Stampeders to 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, 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.[6]

BC Lions

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.[7]

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

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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.


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

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
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
8 9 2 Grey Cups
Total 282 165 3 .630 13 West Division
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.[11] 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:

  • 2014 – LB Dylan Chapdelaine, Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC/CJFL)[12]
  • 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)[13]
  • 2010 – DL Kleevens Jean-Louis, Châteauguay Raiders (QJFL)[14]
  • 2009 – RB Andrew Harris, Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC/CJFL)[15]
  • 2008 – WR Cassidy Doneff, Calgary Colts (PFC/CJFL)[16]
  • 2007 – RB Tristan Jones, Edmonton Wildcats (PFC/CJFL)[17]
  • 2006 – QB Nate Friesen, Winnipeg Rifles (PFC/CJFL)[18]
  • 2005 – RB Jeff Halvorson, Posthumous, Okanagan Sun (BCFC/CJFL)[19]
  • 2004 – RB Chris Ciezki, Edmonton Huskies (PFC/CJFL)[20]
  • 2003 – RB Alan Giacalone, Calgary Colts (PFC/CJFL)[21]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2011-07-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Wally's World: Buono becomes all-time leader in coaching wins". 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  4. ^ The Canadian Press (2007-02-13). "Buono named CFL's coach of the year". 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. ^ "Family business". Deseret News. July 6, 2003. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Wally Buono back as Lions coach after Jeff Tedford resigns". Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  9. ^ Press, The Canadian. "Wally Buono signs contract extension with B.C. Lions". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  10. ^ "Lions name Hervey GM; Buono to coach last season in 2018". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-25. Retrieved 2015-05-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2011-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Andrew Harris Claims 2009 Wally Buono Award". BC Lions. November 4, 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2011-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^
  18. ^[permanent dead link]
  19. ^
  20. ^[permanent dead link]
  21. ^

External links

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
This page was last edited on 13 February 2021, at 22:01
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