Sept. 3, 2010
CHICAGO – DePaul University women's basketball coach Doug Bruno has signed a contract extension through the 2016-17 season, the university announced today. Bruno, who has guided the program to eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, begins his 25th season on the bench at his alma mater.
“We are very pleased to offer yet again, another long term contract to Coach Bruno. His name is synonymous with successful college basketball around Chicago and around the world as a fantastic teacher of the game, mentor to his student-athletes and fiercely loyal to his alma mater, DePaul University,” DePaul’s Director of Athletics Jean Lenti Ponsetto said.
In 24 seasons at the helm of the DePaul program, Bruno holds a 458-263 record while leading the program to 15 NCAA Tournament berths. The Blue Demons are just one of 13 teams in Division I to reach the NCAA Tournament in each of the last eight seasons while Bruno has led the program to the BIG EAST Conference Championship quarterfinals each year since 2006.
In conjunction with Bruno’s 25th season and to recognize his program’s continued success, DePaul will name the court in McGrath Arena the “Doug Bruno Court.”
“I am totally juiced about the opportunity to continue what has become a lifelong passion: Coaching DePaul Women’s Basketball,” Bruno said of his extension. “When Gene Sullivan asked me to coach the DePaul Women as a 26 year old in the mid-seventies I never imagined that that team of young women would inspire me to coach women and that would become a lifetime mission.”
“I want to thank DePaul President, Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, Jean Lenti Ponsetto, my former coaches -- Ray Meyer, Frank McGrath, Dan Pierce, Dick Flaiz and Gene Sullivan; all of my present and former great assistant coaches, and most of all our DePaul women’s basketball student-athletes, all of whom have made this contract extension possible.”
Bruno’s 458 victories with the Blue Demons rank 33rd among active Division I coaches while he ranks fifth in the BIG EAST behind Hall of Fame coaches, C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers), Geno Auriemma (Connecticut) Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame) and Harry Perretta (Villanova).
Bruno’s teams play an exciting brand of basketball and have made McGrath Arena one of the toughest places to play in the country. Since the 2004-05 season the Blue Demons have ranked in the top 20 four times for their high-octane scoring offense, while the team led the country with 82.7 points per game in 2004-05. Bruno’s teams consistently rank among the nation's best in -- assists, 3-pointers, rebounding and free throw percentage.
Not to be outdone on the court, Bruno’s teams have shined academically. The Blue Demons have been ranked in the WBCA’s Academic Top 25 four times since 2006 while the Blue Demons claimed the BIG EAST Team Academic Award the last three seasons for boasting the best team GPA in the league.
Along with his success at DePaul, Bruno is also accomplished at national and international levels. This summer Bruno will be team with Auriemma as an assistant coach for the USA Women’s National Team. As the head coach of the U18 team in 2006, Bruno that team to a FIBA Americas gold medal followed by a 2007 gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships.
“The DePaul University community looks forward to sharing many more memorable and successful years enjoying and taking great pride in what our women’s basketball teams accomplish on the court, in the classroom and out in the community under his leadership,” Ponsetto added.
“We are especially grateful for his years of service and look forward to celebrating his 25th year at the helm, his upcoming 500th career victory and the dedication of the basketball court in his honor this November in McGrath Arena.”
Prior to returning to DePaul in 1988, Bruno compiled a 40-30 record with the Chicago Hustle -- the first women’s professional team in Chicago, from 1978-80.
The Blue Demons shoot for the program’s ninth straight NCAA Championship appearance this season as they return all five starters – including seniors Sam Quigley and Felicia Chester, from the 2009-10 team that went 21-11 and finished in sixth place in the BIG EAST Conference. DePaul also returns All-BIG EAST performer Deirdre Naughton, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility in July.