Doug Bruno

Richard Douglas "Doug" Bruno (born November 7, 1950)[1] is the head coach of the DePaul Blue Demons women's basketball team. In 2016, he completed his 30th season as head coach. Under his tenure, the Blue Demons have qualified for post-season competition play in 21 of his 30 seasons, including the last 14 seasons.

Doug Bruno
Bruno at the Indiana Convention Center on April 4, 2011
Current position
TitleHead coach
ConferenceBig East
Biographical details
Born (1950-11-07) November 7, 1950
Chicago, Illinois
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1973–1974Parker HS (asst.)
1974–1975St. Vincent DePaul HS
1978–1980Chicago Hustle
1981–1988Loyola (IL) (asst.)
Head coaching record
Overall674–337 (.667)
Accomplishments and honors
C-USA Coach of the Year 2005
Conference USA’s Coach of the Decade

In 2007, Bruno completed a two-year term as President of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, a position to which he was elected by his peers.[2]

High school and college

Born Richard Douglas Bruno in Chicago, Doug Bruno played high school basketball at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South.[3] Bruno played college basketball at DePaul University under Basketball Hall of Fame coach Ray Meyer, earning a letter three years, and starting two seasons.[3]

Coaching career

High school

Bruno started his coaching career in 1973–74 at the high school level, first as an assistant coach for the boys' team at Francis Parker High School in Chicago, then as a head coach in 1974–75 for the boys' team at St. Vincent DePaul High School.[3]


Bruno was named the head coach of the DePaul Blue Demons women's basketball program in 1976. In the first season, the team achieved an 11–10 record,. In the second season the team achieved a 16–6 record, the most wins in the program's history.[3]

Chicago Hustle

Bruno left DePaul to become the head coach of the Chicago Hustle, a women's basketball team in the Women's Professional Basketball League. They were originally going to be called the Hustlers, but that name reminded some of hookers. Bruno suggested changing the name to simply the Hustle.[4] On December 9, 1978, the Chicago Hustle played the Milwaukee Does in what was not just the inaugural game of the Women's Professional Basketball League, but the first professional women's basketball game in the United States. The game was played in the MECCA Arena (now U.S. Cellular Arena) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bruno was 27 years old, younger than some of his players, trying to keep them calm while waiting to start their first professional game in front of national press services. When an English radio announcer interrupted him with advice, he lessened the tension with a mashup of some famous speeches, invoking the Duke of Wellington and Knute Rockne. He implored his teams, "remember girls, the battle of Dunkirk was won on the playing fields of Eton. Now, go out there and win one for the Gipper."[5]

There were 7,824 people in the stands. Milwaukee scored the first points, but Chicago went on to take the lead. Poor free throw shooting by Milwaukee would prove critical, and Chicago would go on to win the first professional women's basketball game by a score of 92–87.[5]

In their first year, the Hustle tied for the Midwest Division crown. The league lasted three years, but Bruno left the Hustle after his second year. Bruno was involved in what has been called "[t]he WBL's most serious officiating dispute."[5] Bruno thought his point guard was getting roughed up, and had responded by kicking a folding chair in one game, although it was reported that he tossed the folding chair "30 feet across the floor at an official".[5] In a subsequent game, he thought his point guard was fouled with no call, so he went after the referee. Three security guards pulled Bruno off the referee, but not before the fans got involved. The fights included 70 people, requiring a call to the police to restore order. After a delay, the Chicago team won 128–123 in overtime.[5]

Loyola Chicago

Bruno then left coaching women to become the associate men's head coach at Loyola University Chicago under Gene Sullivan. He spent eight years at Loyola, during which the team had two 20 win seasons, and reached the Sweet Sixteen once, in 1984–85.[3]


Bruno returned to DePaul and women's basketball in 1988, returning to the head coaching position of the Blue Demons. His first season, the team achieved a 23–10 record, tying for first place in the North Star conference, and qualifying for post-season play. The team finished seventh in the WNIT. His team has qualified for post-season play all but three of the seasons since his return to DePaul. The team was a member of the North Star conference until the 1990–91 season, then was a member of the Great Midwest Conference for four years. That conference then merged to become part of Conference USA, where DePaul remained until joining the Big East in 2005.

In his first year as a member of the Big East, Bruno's Blue Demons achieved a 23–7 record, and made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship.

DePaul announced in 2009 that the basketball court at McGrath-Phillips Arena will be named the Doug Bruno Court in his honor. The decision was kept a surprise, and announced at the annual Doug Bruno Challenge Dinner. Doug was told the dinner attendance wasn't meeting expectations, and asked if his six sons could help bolster the attendance by showing up and bringing friends.[6]

USA Basketball

2006 USA U18 and U19 National Team

Bruno was selected to be the head coach of the USA Women's U18 and U19 teams in 2006 and 2007. The U18 team competed for the FIBA Americas Championship, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado from June 28–July 2, 2006.[7] The USA team defeated Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Canada to win the Gold Medal, and qualify for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship, in Bratislava, Slovakia. The following year, Bruno coached the team to a perfect 9–0 record and a Gold Medal at the U19 World Championship.[8] USA would play a close game against Spain in an early round, winning only by eight points 74–66, but in the medal round rematch, USA defeated Spain easily, 69–46. The USA team faced undefeated Sweden in the championship game, but won easily 99–57.[8]

USA Women's National Team

Bruno was named to an assistant coaching position for the USA women's national basketball team.[9] The team begins training in 2009 in preparation for the 2010 World Championships. Training camp was held in Washington, D.C., after which the team visited wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.[10] Following completion of the training camp, the team will head to Ekaterinburg, Russia, to compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[11] Bruno served as an assistant coach for the USA National Basketball team at the 2010 World Championships. He will continue as an assistant at the 2012 Olympic games.[12]

Bruno was named assistant coach of the USA National team in preparation for competition at the 2010 World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Because many team members were still playing in the WNBA until just prior to the event, the team had only one day of practice with the entire team before leaving for Ostrava and Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Even with limited practice, the team managed to win their first game against Greece by 26 points. The team continued to dominate with victory margins exceeding 20 points in the first five games. Several players shared scoring honors, with Swin Cash, Angel McCoughtry, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Lindsay Whalen, and Sylvia Fowles all ending as high scorer in the first few games. The sixth game was against undefeated Australia—the USA jumped out to a 24-point lead, but the Australian team cut the lead back to single digits late in the game. The USA prevailed 83–75. The USA won their next two games by over thirty points, then faced the host team, the Czech Republic, in the championship game. The USA team had only a five-point lead at halftime, which was cut to three points, but the Czechs never got closer, and went on to win the championship and gold medal.[13]

Bruno was an assistant coach for the USA women's national basketball team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.


Bruno served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association in 2003[14] and 2004. Bruno was then elected President of the organization for a two-year team, starting September 1, 2005.[15] His term officially ended in 2007, but he acted as President at the 2009 convention. The organization has a President and a past President—if the President is the coach of a team in the Final Four (occurring the same time as the annual convention), the Past President presides. However, in 2009, both Past President Sherri Coale of Oklahoma, and President Geno Auriemma of Connecticut had teams in the Final Four, so Bruno stepped in as acting President at the annual convention.[16]

Awards and honors

Head coaching record (college)


Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
DePaul (Independent) (1976–1978)
1976–77 DePaul 11–10
1977–78 DePaul 16–6
DePaul: 27–16 (.628)
DePaul (North Star Conference) (1988–1990)
1988–89 DePaul 23–1012–2T1st
1989–90 DePaul 22–1010–2NCAA Second Round
DePaul: 45–20 (.692)22–4 (.846)
DePaul (Great Midwest Conference) (1990–1995)
1990–91 DePaul 19–1211–33rdNCAA First Round
1991–92 DePaul 21–1010–2t1stNCAA Second Round
1992–93 DePaul 20–98–22ndNCAA First Round
1993–94 DePaul 10–205–74th
1994–95 DePaul 20–99–3t2ndNCAA First Round
DePaul: 90–60 (.600)43–17 (.717)
DePaul (Conference USA) (1995–2005)
1995–96 DePaul 21–1013–11stNCAA Second Round
1996–97 DePaul 20–910–4t4thNCAA First Round
1997–98 DePaul 11–185–11t7th
1998–99 DePaul 12–157–98th
1999–00 DePaul 18–1210–6t4th
2000–01 DePaul 18–148–88th
2001–02 DePaul 15–148–64th
2002–03 DePaul 22–1010–43rdNCAA First Round
2003–04 DePaul 23–710–44thNCAA Second Round
2004–05 DePaul 26–513–11stNCAA Second Round
DePaul: 186–114 (.620)94–54 (.635)
DePaul (Big East) (2005–2013)
2005–06 DePaul 27–711–5t3rdNCAA Sweet Sixteen
2006–07 DePaul 19–138–810thNCAA First Round
2007–08 DePaul 20–128–8t8thNCAA First Round
2008–09 DePaul 23–1010–6t4thNCAA First Round
2009–10 DePaul 21–129–7t6thNCAA First Round
2010–11 DePaul 29–713–3t2ndNCAA Sweet Sixteen
2011–12 DePaul 23–119–78thNCAA Second Round
2012–13 DePaul 21–129–7t6thNCAA First Round
DePaul (Big East) (2013–present)
2013–14 DePaul 29–715–31stNCAA Sweet Sixteen
2014–15 DePaul 27–815–3T1stNCAA Second Round
2015–16 DePaul 27–916–21stNCAA Sweet Sixteen
2016–17 DePaul 27–816–2T1stNCAA Second Round
2017–18 DePaul 27–815–3T1stNCAA Second Round
2018–19 DePaul 6–30–0
DePaul: 326–127 (.720)154–64 (.706)
Total:674–337 (.667)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. "Women's Basketball". NCAA. Retrieved 16 Aug 2015.
  2. "Past Presidents". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  3. "Doug Bruno". DePaul University. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  4. "Article: CHICAGO HUSTLE TRIVIA". Chicago Sun-Times. February 12, 1996. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
  5. Porter, Karra (May 1, 2006). Mad Seasons: The Story of the First Women's Professional Basketball League, 1978–1981. Bison Books. pp. 61–63. ISBN 978-0-8032-8789-1.
  6. Ginnetti, Toni (November 19, 2009). "DePaul to name court after Doug Bruno". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  7. "SIXTH WOMEN'S FIBA AMERICAS U18 CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 2006". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  8. "SEVENTH FIBA WOMEN'S U19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP -- 2007". USA Basketball. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  9. "USA Women's National Team Gets Started". USA Basketball. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  10. "Hoops for Troops: The USA National Team Visits Walter Reed". USA Basketball. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  11. "USA Basketball Women's National Team To Tip-Off Training Tomorrow In D.C." USA Basketball. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  12. "Doug Bruno, Jennifer Gillom, Marynell Meadors Return To USA Basketball As 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Assistant Coaches". USA Basketball. Jan 20, 2012. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  13. "SIXTEENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR WOMEN -- 2010". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  14. "2003 WBCA Board of Directors Meeting". WBCA. Archived from the original on January 9, 2006. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  15. "DEPAUL'S DOUG BRUNO ELECTED 19TH PRESIDENT OF THE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION". WBCA. Archived from the original on August 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  16. "Net.News". WBCA. Archived from the original on December 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  17. "Carol Eckman Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 1 Jul 2014.
  18. "2012-13 DePaul Women's Basketball Media Guide". DePaul Blue Demons. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
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