“This is presented each year to an individual who has demonstrated great leadership and made significant contributions to the CFL,” said Randy Ambrosie, the league’s Commissioner.
“In the case of this year’s honouree, that description amounts to a massive understatement. It is difficult to think of someone who has contributed or achieved more in our league than Wally Buono. It’s almost impossible to imagine what life in the CFL will be like without him.”
Buono, 68, is retiring after a remarkable 46-year career as a standout player, the league’s winningest Coach, a respected General Manager and a valued league Governor.
He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 2015.
Buono leaves having won two Grey Cups (in five appearances) as a player and five Grey Cups (in nine appearances) as a Head Coach. His overall coaching regular season coaching record is a remarkable 282-165-3.
But Ambrosie said he wanted to emphasize something that is almost impossible to tally: the impact Buono has had on the lives of countless players, coaching colleagues, CFL and club personnel and fans and media members.
“What matters most in person’s life is the impact you have on others,” Ambrosie told the Shaw CFL Awards audience, which included hundreds of people who had played or coached for, with or against Buono as well as his proud family.
“This is a person who has touched thousands and thousands of lives and made each of them better.”
Buono has always talked about football in the context of life, Ambrosie added, and now everyone in the CFL wishes him and his wife Sande, his children Amy, Dayna, Christie and Michael, and their entire family all the best as he embarks on a full and happy life after football.
The 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw will be played at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium this Sunday, November 25th, 2018 – the fifth CFL championship game held in Edmonton. The game is set to kick off at 4 p.m. MT/6 p.m. ET live on TSN and RDS.
The 2018 Grey Cup Festival presented by Shaw continues in the heart of downtown Edmonton – Jasper Avenue from 99th Street to 96th Street – from November 21-25. Fans can visit http://www.greycupfestival.ca for a full schedule of events listing.