December 5, 2011

Wally Buono sets sights on new horizon Staff

BC Lions Football Club president and CEO Dennis Skulsky announced this morning that Wally Buono, the Canadian Football League’s all-time leader in coaching wins has stepped aside as the team’s head coach and has been named vice president of football operations in addition to his current role as general manager.

“This is a day of mixed emotions for our organization,” said Skulsky. “We have been fortunate to have witnessed coaching excellence during Wally’s time at the helm of the Lions and I know all of us are saddened to see him step aside. We are thrilled however, that his leadership and experience as a vice president and GM will be the guiding force as we set about to find his replacement and begin a new chapter for the BC Lions.”

Coming to the Lions in 2003, Buono established a coaching record of 101-60-1 through nine seasons including five first-place West Division regular season finishes, seven appearances in division finals and three trips to the Grey Cup championship, winning twice.

“I have many people to thank for their support over my coaching career, said Buono. “Most of all, my wife Sande for her patience and understanding over many, many years as well as the love of my children Amy, Dayna, Christie and Michael.”

“I have often said that coaches don’t win games, it’s the players that win games. With that in mind, I am forever indebted to some of our league’s greatest talents for their effort and dedication to our great game.”

“I would also be remiss if I did not acknowledge the late Bob Ackles and our owner, Senator David Braley. Their passion for our league and for football in British Columbia cannot ever be measured and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of the resurgence of this historic franchise,” added Buono.

Through 22 seasons and 396 games as a head coach with the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions, Buono’s coaching record is an astounding 254-139-3 with 21 trips to the post season, 18 appearances in division finals and nine trips to the Grey Cup championship, winning five times.