Just Win, Baby!

Buono becomes all-time leader in coaching wins

It was only a matter of time.

With a win over the Toronto Argonauts on September 19th, Wally Buono became the CFL's all-time leader in coaching victories, surpassing Don Matthews' total of 231.

''I am very pleased to share this moment with everyone who has made it possible,'' said Buono following the game. ''First and foremost I must thank my wife and children who have supported me and inspired me along the way, and of course, all of the players, coaches, owners and friends who have been a part of each and every win.''

After a 10-year playing career with the Montreal Alouettes in which he won two Grey Cups, Buono decided to move into the coaching ranks in 1983. He was hired as linebackers coach by Joe Galat, head coach of the Montreal Concordes, the team that evolved after the Alouettes folded. Four years later, he accepted a position on Larry Kuharich's staff with the Calgary Stampeders.

Buono's 19-year head coaching career began with the Stampeders in 1990. Over a 13-year period in southern Alberta, Buono averaged close to 12 wins per season, won eight Division titles and three Grey Cup championships. He was named CFL Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993.

With 153 wins to his credit after the 2002 campaign, Buono left the Stampeders as the franchise leader in wins to become the head coach of the B.C. Lions.

It didn't take long for Buono to get the Lions back on track, guiding the team to an 11-7 record in the highly competitive West Division. Now in his seventh season on the B.C. sideline, Buono has had the Lions in the playoffs every year, averaging over 12 wins per season. He is currently the franchise leader in victories.

In 2006, he led the Lions to their fifth Grey Cup and was rewarded with his third CFL coach of the Year honour.

Over his 19-year head coaching career, Buono was won a total of 10 division titles, four Grey Cups and suffered through just two losing seasons.

This season, the Lions struggled out of the gate with a 1-4 mark in the month of July but if history is any indication, the man who learned the game in the suburbs of Montreal will have the Lions in the playoffs by season's end.

1990 Calgary Stampeders 11 6 1 1st Place
1991 Calgary Stampeders 11 7 0 2nd Place
1992 Calgary Stampeders 13 5 0 1st Place
1993 Calgary Stampeders 15 3 0 1st Place
1994 Calgary Stampeders 15 3 0 1st Place
1995 Calgary Stampeders 15 3 0 1st Place
1996 Calgary Stampeders 13 5 0 1st Place
1997 Calgary Stampeders 10 8 0 2nd Place
1998 Calgary Stampeders 12 6 0 1st Place
1999 Calgary Stampeders 12 6 0 2nd Place
2000 Calgary Stampeders 12 5 1 1st Place
2001 Calgary Stampeders 8 10 0 2nd Place
2002 Calgary Stampeders 6 12 0 5th Place
2003 British Columbia Lions 11 7 0 4th Place
2004 British Columbia Lions 13 5 0 1st Place
2005 British Columbia Lions 12 6 0 1st Place
2006 British Columbia Lions 13 5 0 1st Place
2007 British Columbia Lions 14 3 1 1st Place
2008 British Columbia Lions 11 7 0 3rd Place
2009 British Columbia Lions 8 10 0 4th Place
  TOTALS 235 122 3  

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