Coach Doug Bruno
A pioneer and crusader for women’s basketball at all levels, Doug Bruno begins his 38th year of Camp Doug Bruno and 32nd season as the head of the Blue Demon program for 2017-18. His passion for basketball comes from the love of the game, the love of teaching and his desire to give back to young players by sparking passion in them at an early age.
Winning more than 825 games as a head coach, Bruno has had 22 NCAA appearances. Under his leadership, DePaul is one of only 5 schools to appear in 15 straight NCAA Tournaments. Over the years, Coach Bruno has also been honored with several recognitions and awards including induction into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, as well as being named the 2006 and 2007 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year and the 2012 London Olympic Gold Medal Assistant Coach and 2016 Rio Olympic Gold Medal Assistant Coach. To honor Coach Bruno and his commitment to DePaul University, the University named the court at McGrath-Phillips Arena the Coach Doug Bruno Court.
The Doug Bruno Girls Basketball Camps
The Doug Bruno Girls Basketball Camps began in their current form in 1980. Coach Bruno’s passion for basketball comes from his love of the game, his love of teaching the game and his desire to give back to all young players of the game. Through camp, he wants to spark and inspire passion in each camper at an early age. From college athletes to Olympians to the youth he works with, Coach Bruno is a true teacher of the game.
Beyond his role as head coach to DePaul’s Women’s team and the leader of Camp, Coach Bruno has also been an assistant coach for USA Basketball World Championships in 2010 and 2014 receiving a Gold Medal and as the head coach in 2007 of FIBA U19 (Gold Medal recipients), 2006 of FIBA U19 (Gold Medal recipients). The driver of all of these achievements is Bruno’s relentless goal of 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.
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 players at the youth level at his camps, Bruno also works within the highest professional levels, with USA Basketball and the WNBA. In October of 2014, Bruno was an assistant coach with the USA Women’s National Team that won the gold medal at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey. 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. 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 October of 2013.
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 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.”
Returning to DePaul’s Court
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.
In 2014, the Blue Demons brought nationwide recognition to the sport of women’s basketball with a 104-100 triumph over Oklahoma in the 2014 NCAA tournament opener. It was the highest scoring regulation game in the history of the NCAA women’s tournament.
DePaul (29-7) tied the school record for most wins in a season and set program records for games played (36), points (3,006), three-point baskets (314) and assists (705). The Blue Demons advanced to their third NCAA Sweet 16 after claiming their first BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles. A second-round upset of No. 2 seed Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium was Bruno’s 600th collegiate victory.
Since his return in 1988, DePaul has won 533 games, competed at 19 NCAA Tournaments, three Sweet Sixteens (2006, 2011, 2014), made four WNIT appearances, won four five tournament championships and five 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. 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 195 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, 2010 on the road. He entered the 2013-14 season with an impressive 571 victories – 531 with the Blue Demons and 40 with the Chicago Hustle.
Off the Court Commitment
Off the court, success has also been bountiful. DePaul has boasted 176 student-athletes who have earned mention on conference academic honor rolls.
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 nine times, including a program-best No. 2 finish after the 2012-13 season. 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 3.625 GPA in 2012-13 and was awarded the BIG EAST’s Team Academic Excellence Award for the sixth consecutive year for the highest GPA among their league counterparts.
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.
DePaul at the NCAA Tournament
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 15 seasons, Bruno has led the Blue Demons to 15 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. Overall, Bruno has led the women’s basketball program to 22 post-season appearances in the last 25 years.
Leading American All-Stars
Players under the guidance of Bruno have claimed All-Conference mention on 55 occasions while 18 players have been named an All-American by various organizations a total of 34 times.
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 18 occasions.
Coach Bruno has been inducted into the DePaul Athletics Hall of Fame, the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 18, 2017. Bruno as also awarded the Leonardo Da Vinci Outstanding Achievement in Education Award by the Sons of Italy
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.
Coach as a Player at DePaul
Doug became a three-year letter winner 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 ten. 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, Nora and Declan, and Colin while David and his wife Bethany are the new parents of twin daughters Caroline and Cecilia.
The Bruno’s call the Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago’s north side home.