A reception was held in the Stumpff Funeral Home Chapel in Bartlesville Friday and a Celebration of Life service was held Saturday at the Bartlesville High School Fine Arts Center.
Bruno, who was also a highly-successful basketball coach, led the Bruins to state golf titles in 1972, 1974, 1978, 1977, 1979 and 1984. The girls team finished second in 1981, and eight times he led the basketball team into the state tournament. Eleven of his former basketball players earned college scholarships while he sent 21 golfers on to either major college, junior college or small college teams.
A very fine player himself, Bruno played golf and basketball at Oklahoma State in 1956 and 1957 before joining the Army. He later finished his schooling at Northeastern State and again played both basketball and golf, finishing 19th in the NAIA national golf championship.
Bruno was “a great high school golf coach,” according to Jerry Cozby, long-time head professional at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville where Bruno’s teams practiced often.
“He had a big old duffel bag full of golf balls,” Cozby said. “”If school started at 8 a.m., they would be out at the course at 6:30 for an hour of short game practice.
“We had an arrangement where he said, “I’ll coach them if you will help teach them. He was a great coach but not necessarily a golf instructor. So we worked well together for a long time.”
Jerry’s oldest son Cary, now the head professional at Southern Hills, was a freshman on Bruno’s last state championship team in 1984. He talks about that experience in a look back at Bruno’s career by Mike Brown of the Tulsa World which you can read here.