The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student News Site of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Mr. 600: Doug Bruno earns 600th win of career

DePaul women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno at a fan’s forum in May. He earned his 600th win Friday. (Josh Leff / The DePaulia)

Doug Bruno sat on the team bus following his team’s 61-54 win over Butler. The DePaul women’s basketball head coach already knew what he was going to do when he got to the hotel in Cincinnati.

“We’re going to enjoy the 90-minute ride over to Xavier, and then I’ll be watching the tape of the game,” Bruno said. “I’ll watch the tape of our game vs. Butler. I’ll watch Xavier’s game before I go to bed tonight. And then I’ll watch more Xavier. That’s just the way this works.”

Bruno’s approach is the philosophy that has worked for 30 seasons. What he didn’t mention, however, is that his approach has put Bruno in special company.

With DePaul’s win over Butler Friday, Bruno collected his 600th collegiate win as a head coach, becoming the 19th Division-I women’s basketball head coach to do so.

But as it is with every win, Bruno didn’t want the credit.

“I haven’t won any games. The players have won all the games,” Bruno said, via the telephone. “It’s always about the players. It’s just one of those situations where you do it long enough, it’s going to happen. But at the same time, I’m really proud of all my players.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 2.03.49 PMBruno’s tone was modest.  He admitted that he didn’t even mention the 600th win to his players, or that he had the chance to win No. 600 before the game. If there was any motivation by the players, Bruno said he hopes the motivation was getting a win against another Big East foe.

Instead, Bruno said he focuses on the repetition of the season.   The repetition — the practices, film study, games and even the bonding as a team — leads to wins.  He said it creates an understanding.

“If you have good players, who are not only good players but good people, who buy into the process of hard work and the process of commitment  … then the results take care of themselves,” Bruno said. “If you talk to any coach in the country who is worth anything, they’re just focused on the next game.”

Those players have put Bruno in another standout-worthy category too. Only four active coaches have gathered 600 wins with the same school. Bruno joined Geno Auriemma (UConn), Harry Perretta (Villanova) and Robin Selvg (Montana).

Bruno has built success by decade, mentioning earlier this season that it was his goal to build DePaul from an NIT-level team to a constant NCAA tournament team, and eventually an NCAA powerhouse.

While he’s still working to advance past the Sweet Sixteen for the first time, Bruno has only had three losing seasons in his coaching career — all three of those beings in the ‘80s.

“I love DePaul and it’s been a great honor,” Bruno said. “I’m blessed to be able to go to DePaul, and it’s all about Ray Meyer giving me the opportunity. If he didn’t give me a scholarship, I never go to DePaul. So there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t thank Coach Ray.”

As for his 600th win, Bruno said the Blue Demons produced a solid win. Forward Brooke Schulte and guard Chanise Jenkins each had 14 points, and were able to rebound after a home loss to Villanova from Sunday, Jan. 10.

The Blue Demons led the whole game, and withstood a Butler push when the Bulldogs cut DePaul’s lead to 34-31 to start the third quarter. DePaul answered back and led 42-33.

Even in victory, though, Bruno said he won’t take time to truly enjoy the win right away.

“The real enjoyment is when the season is over,” Bruno said. “People ask me, ‘did you enjoy the Olympics?’ I enjoyed the Olympics once we won the gold.  I enjoy our seasons after we compete and play well in the NCAA tournaments. That’s when you enjoy it.

“There’s plenty of time between April and next November to enjoy your seasons. But when you’re in the midst of the grind, you don’t have time to sit in the hammock and kick back.”

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