Football

Bruce Douglas Covernton

August 12, 1966 ~ January 23, 2024 (age 57) 57 Years Old

Bruce Covernton Obituary

We are heartbroken to announce that Bruce Douglas “Tuna” Covernton, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. He was 57. 

Bruce was larger than life. He was well known as a prankster in his youth with an insatiable appetite for fun, adventure, and living life to the fullest. In his adult life, he was known for his quick wit, leadership, and huge heart. He had an enduring passion for people from all walks of life, as well as for business, football, and making a contribution to his community.

Bruce spent his early childhood in Morris, Manitoba, moved to Winnipeg with his family and attended Vincent Massey Collegiate. In his high school years, he played for the Manitoba Junior Provincial Rugby team and was recognized as an accomplished hockey player, playing in the Manitoba Junior League with the St. Boniface Saints. After a short tenure with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, he realized his true love was football and he committed to Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where he was also Inducted into the Weber State Hall of Fame.

He was the Calgary Stampeders first-round draft pick and 1st overall CFL pick in 1992. As Offensive Lineman #60, Bruce helped win 2 Grey Cups, was named West Most Outstanding Rookie in 1992,  the West Most Outstanding Lineman in 1993, and was a two-time Western All-Star.  His teammates remember him as the player who was noted for his passion and big heart, whether it was on the field or in the community. As a teammate, “Tuna” had the ability to bring the locker room together with his laugh, jokes, pranks, and his desire to be a winner. He was tough, physical and played to the whistle on every snap. During his playing career, he was proud to represent the club in the community and at charity events.

Bruce was also a star off the field. In business, he was Co-founder and CEO of the successful company, Champion Staffing. In the community, Bruce donated countless hours to people in need. He volunteered and helped to fundraise for a long list of charities and was never afraid to take on the more challenging issues. Bruce also coached, mentored, and inspired many young athletes.   

Bruce is survived by his partner, Shirley Gubersky; father, Alan Covernton; brother, Jim (Nan); and nephew, Carter Covernton. He was predeceased by his mother, Lorraine; and brother, Geoff Covernton. In addition to his immediate family, Bruce's memory will live on in the hearts and minds of both his and Shirley's extended families and a wide network of friends spread across Canada, the USA, and Costa Rica.  

The family deeply appreciates the outpouring of support from his many friends, teammates, colleagues, and fans. Celebrations of Life will be planned in both Calgary and Winnipeg with details to be shared at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be given in Bruce's name to the Calgary Stampeders Alumni Foundation at https://www.stampeders.com/foundation/ or the Owen Hart Foundation at https://owenhartfoundation.org/ or Canadian Mental Health at https://cmha.ca/.

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