Bruno racks up 500 W’s

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In his 26 seasons coaching at DePaul, women’s basketball head coach Doug Bruno has asserted himself as one of the best college coaches in the nation, and a leader among his peers with his commitment to improving the promotion and growth of the sport. His most recent milestone, tallying his 500th collegiate coaching win on Dec. 31, 2011 against Northern Illinois, also proves that his demands for hard work and a winning mentality have translated into success across the board.

A humbling accomplishment, the namesake of the basketball court at McGrath-Phillips Arena (where the women’s team holds an impressive 27 straight victories), sat down with the DePaulia to talk about his accomplished career coaching DePaul women’s basketball.

(DEP) How would you describe your career to this point?

(C.B.) Five hundred wins is really about DePaul’s administration. We’re blessed with great administrative support here at DePaul. Father Dennis Holtschneider and Jean Lenti Ponsetto have been great in their support of women’s basketball. Secondly, I have had great assistant coaches through the years. There are three reasons why one wins 500 games. These reasons are great administration, great assistant coaches and, most of all, talented and great players, who are also great people.

(DEP) What inspired you to start coaching?

(C.B.) I had great coaches in high school. My high school coach was Dick Flaiz. He played at DePaul University under Coach Ray Meyer and Coach Frank McGrath. I was blessed to play at DePaul for Coach Ray Meyer and Coach Frank McGrath. I’ve always had great coaches since high school. Dan Pierce was our freshman coach, so I had three great coaches at DePaul.

(DEP) How do you see this milestone, and how does it impact the expectations of your team?

(C.B.) Every game has a life of its own, and as a coach you focus on that one game. It’s not like we’ve won 500 games in a row. We won one game in a row 500 times. Every game has a life of its own and every season has a life of its own, so the 2011-12 season is so much more about the players. It’s about this team’s players and what they can achieve as the 2011-12 team. It’s more about what this team can achieve, and the 500 wins are just stuck in the middle of that.

(DEP) Is your ultimate goal to do well this season and take it one year at a time?

(C.B.) The ultimate goal is to make the players better than they think they can be. I learned long ago that if you put numbers on seasons, you limit your team. If we have a goal to win 20 games, who’s to say we can’t win 25. If I can get the team to play better than they think they can play, then the numbers will all shake out.