Going Out On Top
After nine years and two Grey Cup victories with the B.C. Lions, Wally Buono announced today that he’ll be stepping down from his position as head coach, having brought the team from an 0-5 start to a Grey Cup victory this season.
Tidbits about the man they call Wally.
Regular season: 254-139-3
Postseason: 21 Playoff Berths, 18 Appearances In Division Final, 9 trips to Grey Cup, 5 championship titles (3 with Calgary, two with B.C.)
CFL player: 1973 to 1982, LB w/ Montreal Alouettes
CFL Coach: 22 seasons As a HC in Calgary and B.C.
On contract till January of 2014, Buono will stay on as the team’s general manager and vice president of football operations, but will start the search for a coaching replacement immediately.
Leading the Lions and Calgary Stampeders to nine Grey Cup championships (five of them victories), Buono is the league’s current leader for all-time wins as head coach with 254 in his impressive 22 season career.
Born in Italy, Buono immigrated to Montreal with his family in 1953 where he grew up until leaving to go to college at Idaho State University.
His CFL career began with the Montreal Alouettes where he played for 10 seasons, always referred to as “coach” for his determined, confident attitude despite his average abilities on the field.
Buono says he’s already got a worthy successor in mind, but isn’t revealing his game plan just yet.
For now, he’s enjoying the recognition of his success and acknowledging British Columbians on Twitter, posting this message tonight –
@Coach_Brillo: Thanks everyone for your kind words. It was my pleasure to coach your #BCLions.
Time to build for 2012 and bring the Grey Cup home again.
What a way to go!