The women's basketball team was greeted by Governor Pat Quinn and DePaul President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider in Lincoln Park to send them off for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The Blue Demons host their first round game in Chicago on Saturday, March 17 at 5:40 PM at Allstate Arena.
A pioneer and crusader for women's basketball at all levels, Doug Bruno begins his 27th season at the helm of Blue Demon program in 2012-13. Whether it is coaching hundreds of eight-year olds at the Doug Bruno Basketball Camp during the summer, ending every press conference during the season with "Thank you for supporting women's basketball," or helping to bring home gold from London as an assistant coach for the USA Women's National Team, Bruno is always promoting and growing the game.
Because of this passion, Bruno is recognized throughout the country and the Chicagoland as a leader of women's college basketball and women's sports. To honor Coach Bruno and his commitment to DePaul University, the University named the court at McGrath-Phillips Arena the "Doug Bruno Court." With the naming in November 2011, Bruno became just one of five women's basketball coaches and three in Division I to have the court or arena named in their honor. Bruno follows, Kay Yow at NC State, Lin Laursen at Central Arizona College (NJCAA), Pam Evans at Wittenberg University and Pat Summitt, who has the court at Tennessee and Tennessee Martin named in her honor.
A true leader among his peers, Bruno completed a two-year term as President of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association in the Summer of 2007 after being selected by his peers at the 2005 Final Four. Prior to becoming just the second male coach to lead the organization, he was the Male Coaches of Women's Basketball Representative on the Board of Directors. Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as an amateur sport for women and girls. Bruno is the chairman of the WBCA/State Farm All-American committee while he is also the East Regional representative for the NCAA Division I Tournament selection, represents District I on the WBCA Ethics Committee and is also on the Wade Trophy committee.
In addition to working with youngsters at his camps, Bruno also works with the sport at the highest levels with USA Basketball and the WNBA. In August of 2012, Bruno was on the bench as an assistant coach when the USA Women's National Team captured its fifth consecutive Olympic Gold. Bruno served as assistant coach alongside Jennifer Gillom of the WNBA Minnesota Lynx and Marynell Meadors of the Atlanta Dream and was under the direction of head coach Geno Auriemma. Working together since 2010, the same coaching staff helped to capture gold at the FIBA World Championships in 2010. Bruno has also served as an assistant coach for USA Basketball's recent European Exhibition Tour and was a "Court Coach" at the National Team's Vegas Training Camp in the summer 2011.
Leading up to his assignment with the Women's National team, Bruno served as head coach of the U.S. U18 National Team and led the USA squad to the Gold Medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in 2006. In the Summer of 2007, Bruno and the U.S. team headed to Bratislava, Slovakia, for the FIBA U19 Women's World Championship. He also assists the WNBA's newest team, the Chicago Sky, as a consultant to the professional franchise.
Bruno has been recognized at all levels of basketball as the only coach to be named USA Basketball's Developmental Coach of the Year twice. He also received the Carol Eckman Award from the WBCA at the 2008 Final Four. The Eckman Award is presented annually to an active WBCA coach who exemplifies Eckman's spirit, integrity and character through sportsmanship, commitment to the student-athlete, honesty, ethical behavior, courage and dedication to purpose. The award is named in honor of the late Carol Eckman, the former West Chester State College coach who is considered the "Mother of the Women's Collegiate Basketball Championship."
In 1988 when Bruno returned to lead the women's basketball program at his alma mater, he wanted the Blue Demons to become a factor on the national scene. Nearly 25 years later, he has helped the program achieve just that.
Bruno, who was also the Blue Demons' head coach from 1976-78, has taken DePaul women's basketball to new heights -- during his tenure, the Blue Demons have achieved national status as one of the top women's programs in the country.
Since his return in 1988, DePaul has won 483 games, competed at 17 NCAA Tournaments, two Sweet Sixteen (2006 and 2011), made four WNIT appearances, won four conference tournament championships and four regular-season titles. Bruno's squads have also spent numerous weeks in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls, including a two-year run from 2004-06 that featured the Blue Demons ranked from start to finish. In each of those seasons, the club was ranked as high No. 10 in January 2006. The Blue Demons reached a program-best No. 7 in the Feb. 21 Poll while it finished the No. 10 in the final 2010-11 Associated Press Poll.
Bruno and the Blue Demons' success have also come against some of the best teams the nation has to offer. Since 1988, DePaul has played 189 games against teams that were in the top 25 the week of their game with the Blue Demons. In fact, during the Bruno era, DePaul has posted victories over third-ranked Louisiana Tech (1996-97), sixth-ranked Vanderbilt (1995-96), eighth-ranked Notre Dame (2002-03) and ninth-ranked USC (1992-93) and Florida State (2009-10). In 2010-11 the Blue Demons posted the program's biggest win with an impressive, 91-71 victory over then-No. 3/2 Stanford at McGrath Arena on Dec. 16, 2010. DePaul followed its historic win over the Cardinal with five more wins over top 25 opponents during the 2010-11 season.
Individually, Bruno registered his 500th career coaching victory when the Blue Demons topped Missouri State Nov. 15 on the road. He enters the 2012-13 season with an impressive 550 victories - 510 with the Blue Demons and 40 with the Chicago Hustle. Bruno won his 500th collegiate victory on Dec. 31, 2011 with a 65-46 win over Northern Illinois. Bruno won his 400th game on Dec. 22, 2005, with a 78-58 win at Northwestern. He also finished the 2005-06 season with his 375th victory as DePaul's head coach with a 71-67 win over Tulsa in the second round of the NCAA Championship. Bruno reached the 400-win plateau with the Blue Demons with an 80-48 win over Missouri State on Dec. 2, 2007.
Off the court, success has also been bountiful. DePaul has boasted 150 student-athletes who have earned mention on conference academic honor rolls, and Anne McDonald was named to the GTE/Academic All-American team in 1998-99 and Allie Quigley was named an ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2007-08.
The WBCA began to recognize team academic success with an Academic Top 25 following the 1997-98 season. Since the poll's inception, the Blue Demons have been ranked seven times, including a program-best No. 3 ranking following the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. The Blue Demons were No. 8 following the 2009-10 season and reached the No. 11 a position in both 2005-06 and then again in 2008-09. In addition to the on-court success for the 2010-11 Blue Demons', third-highest team grade-point average had the distinction of being the only top 10 program both on the court and in the classroom. DePaul finished the 2010-11 season ranked No. 10 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.
The DePaul women's basketball team boasted a program-best 3.604 GPA in 2011-12 and was awarded the BIG EAST's Team Academic Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year for the highest GPA among the league's 16 programs. The 1997-98 and 2000-01 teams won Conference USA's Team GPA Award for having the highest cumulative grade point average among the league's then-12 women's basketball teams. DePaul's 2000-01 team GPA was the 13th-ranked GPA in the nation.
Eight different Blue Demons have represented DePaul on the I-AAA Scholar-Athlete team a total of 13 times, while Quigley was named the I-AAA Scholar-Athlete of Year in 2005-06 and then again in 2007-08. Quigley (2007-08) followed Jenna Rubino as the BIG EAST/Aeropostale Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2006-07. Quigley was also earned the Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award in 2007-08. Three times a DePaul player has been honored with the Conference USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's basketball. McDonald (1998-99), Molly Watson (2000-01) and Lenae Williams (2001-02) were recognized as the top women's basketball scholar-athlete in Conference USA.
Bruno inherited a program in 1988 that played in the previous two Women's National Invitational Tournaments and vowed to take the Blue Demons to the NCAA Tournament. After another trip to the WNIT in 1989, DePaul broke into the "Big Dance" in 1990 when the Blue Demons defeated Western Kentucky in their first NCAA Tournament contest.
The 1990 season started a string of seven trips in eight seasons to the NCAA Tournament. Three of those appearances saw the Blue Demons reach the second round, including the 1995-96 campaign when DePaul earned a seven seed, then its highest ever.
Over the last 10 seasons, Bruno has led the Blue Demons to 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and the program's first and second Sweet Sixteen showing in 2006 and again in 2011. DePaul put together one of the top turnarounds in the program's 30-year history with a 22-10 record in 2002-03 after posting a 15-14 mark the season before. In 2003-04, the club put together a 23-7 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a win over George Washington in the first round. The 2004-05 campaign saw the Blue Demons reach the second round again with a 26-5 mark before the 27-7 record and Sweet Sixteen berth in the San Antonio Regional in 2006. DePaul again reached the Regional Semifinal in 2011 after topping Penn State on its home court in the Second Round. Overall, Bruno has led the women's basketball program to 21 postseason appearances in the last 24 years.
Players under the guidance of Bruno have claimed All-Conference mention on 48 occasions while 15 players have been named an All-American by various organizations, 29 times.
Since the Blue Demons joined the BIG EAST in 2005-06, 17 Blue Demons have been named to an All-Conference roster. Khara Smith picked up first team All-BIG EAST honors while Quigley and Rubino were named to the second team in 2005-06. The following season, Quigley earned second team honors while Caprice Smith was an honorable mention selection. Quigley earned first-team honors in 2007-08 while Deirdre Naughton was an honorable mention selection. The 2008-09 season saw three Blue Demons earn all-conference accolades as Natasha Williams and Naughton were second-team selections and Keisha Hampton became the first player in DePaul's history to earn All-BIG EAST freshman honors, while China Threatt was named the league's Sixth Man of the Year, another program first. DePaul again placed three players on a BIG EAST All-Conference team in 2009-10 when Sam Quigley and Hampton earned second-team honors and Katherine Harry become the first unanimous selection to the All-Freshman team. Four Blue Demons took home All-Conference honors in 2010-11 - Keisha Hampton was a unanimous first-team selection, Qugiley was second-team honoree, Felicia Chester was an honorable mention selection and Taylor Pikes was named the league's Sixth Man of the Year. Following the 2011-12 season Anna Martin was one of two unanimous first-team selections, while Katherine Harry was an honorable mention and Brittany Hrynko was a unanimous all-freshman team honoree. Deanna Ortiz closed out her career at DePaul by earning the league's Sportsmanship Award.
In 2003-04, Smith earned first team All-Conference USA honors, followed by Charlene Smith on the second team and Jenni Dant on the third team. The 2004-05 campaign finished with Khara Smith as a first-team repeat selection followed by Dant on the second team and Quigley on the third team. Quigley was also named the 2005 C-USA Freshman of the Year.
Kim Williams was the 1995-96 C-USA Player of the Year while Tammy Williams (1992-93) and Latasha Byears (1994-95) picked up Great Midwest Conference Player of the Year honors. Following the 1988-89 regular season, Diana Vines was named the North Star Conference Player of the Year.
Following the 2004-05 Conference USA Championship, Bruno was named C-USA Coach of the Year. He selected as Conference USA's Coach of the Decade by a vote of the league's 14 head coaches. He was named the WBCA Region 4 Coach of the Year in 2003-04 and 2004-05, placing him with seven other coaches on the national coach of the year ballot. Bruno was named the Great Midwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1994-95 and was honored as the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year on 11 occasions.
Coach Bruno has been inducted into the DePaul Athletics Hall of Fame, the Chicagoland Hall of Fame and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. Bruno as also awarded the Leonardo Da Vinci Outstanding Achievement in Education Award by the Sons of Italy
In his first stint as the DePaul women's coach, Bruno took the program to a 16-6 record in 1977-78. It was the most wins by a Blue Demon women's squad at the time.
Prior to returning to DePaul in 1988, Bruno spent eight seasons as the associate men's head coach at Loyola-Chicago under Gene Sullivan. During his stay, the Ramblers won 138 games and posted 17 or more wins in four campaigns, including a pair of 20-win seasons. His tenure at Loyola was highlighted by the 1984-85 squad that went 27-6 and reached the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament before bowing to eventual national runner-up Georgetown. The Ramblers also captured three Midwestern Collegiate Conference titles during his time at the Chicago school.
Doug spent two seasons as the head coach and director of player personnel for the Chicago Hustle of the Women's Basketball League (WBL). His first team (1978-79) won the league's Midwest Division and led the WBL in 11 offensive categories as well as attendance.
Bruno began his coaching career at the high school level. He spent the 1973-74 season as an assistant varsity boys' basketball coach at Chicago's Francis Parker High School before becoming the head boy's varsity coach at St. Vincent DePaul High School during the 1974-75 campaign.
Doug became a three-year letterwinner for DePaul and Hall of Fame coach Ray Meyer after playing high school basketball at Archbishop Quigley for the legendary Dick Flaiz. Bruno was a two-year starter at DePaul and led the 1971-72 squad in assists. He received his B.A. in English in 1973, and later returned to earn his M.A., also in English, in 1988.
Doug and his wife, Patty, are the parents of six sons, Bryan, Kevin, David, Brendan, Patrick and Bradley and are the proud grandparents of six. Bryan and his wife, former DePaul women's basketball player Stacy Krumrei, are the parents of Jackson, Morgan, Owen and Eden. Kevin and his wife Sarah are the parents of Brendan and Nora.
Bryan, Kevin, David and Brendan are graduates of St. Ignatius High School where they played basketball for coach John Tracy. Kevin, David and Brendan were All-Catholic League selections. David played on the DePaul men's team for four seasons while Bryan, Kevin and Brendan played at junior-college power Tallahassee Community College for two seasons. Mike Gillespie, a graduate of DePaul and former head coach at Florida A&M, coached Bryan, Kevin and Brendan at Tallahassee.
Patrick played high school basketball at Mt. Carmel under DePaul graduate Mike Curta before transferring to St. Benedict's where he played for Dereck Rubino. Bradley played at St. Patrick's high school under DePaul grad Mike Bailey and played one season at Saint Mary's University in Minnesota before transferring to DePaul as a sophomore.
The Bruno's call the Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago's northside home.