Pasquale "Wally" Buono (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. 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.
BC Lions GM Wally Buono
|Born:||February 7, 1950|
|College||Idaho State University|
|1992–2002||Calgary Stampeders (GM)|
|2003–2017||BC Lions (GM)|
|1983||Montreal Concordes (AC)|
|1987–1989||Calgary Stampeders (AC)|
|1990–2002||Calgary Stampeders (HC)|
|2003–2011, 2016–2018||BC Lions (HC)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Awards||Annis Stukus Trophy (1992, 1993, 2006, 2011)|
|Honours||7x Grey Cup champion – (1974, 1977, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2011)|
|Records||Most 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)|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
CFL coaching record
|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 Grey Cup|
|CGY||1992||13||5||0||.722||1st in West Division||2||0||Won 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 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 Grey Cup|
|CGY||1999||12||6||0||.667||2nd in West Division||2||1||Lost in 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 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 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 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 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. 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)
- 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)
- 2010 – DL Kleevens Jean-Louis, Châteauguay Raiders (QJFL)
- 2009 – RB Andrew Harris, Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC/CJFL)
- 2008 – WR Cassidy Doneff, Calgary Colts (PFC/CJFL)
- 2007 – RB Tristan Jones, Edmonton Wildcats (PFC/CJFL)
- 2006 – QB Nate Friesen, Winnipeg Rifles (PFC/CJFL)
- 2005 – RB Jeff Halvorson, Posthumous, Okanagan Sun (BCFC/CJFL)
- 2004 – RB Chris Ciezki, Edmonton Huskies (PFC/CJFL)
- 2003 – RB Alan Giacalone, Calgary Colts (PFC/CJFL)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2011-07-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Wally's World: Buono becomes all-time leader in coaching wins". TSN.ca. 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- The Canadian Press (2007-02-13). "Buono named CFL's coach of the year". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
- "Wally Buono named 2011 Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
- "Family business". Deseret News. July 6, 2003. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2011-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Wally Buono back as Lions coach after Jeff Tedford resigns". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
- Press, The Canadian. "Wally Buono signs contract extension with B.C. Lions". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
- "Lions name Hervey GM; Buono to coach last season in 2018". CFL.ca. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-25. Retrieved 2015-05-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2011-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Andrew Harris Claims 2009 Wally Buono Award". bclions.com. BC Lions. November 4, 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2011-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
| 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