Jackie Bruno is a college soccer coach and former professional player. She was previously engaged to New York City Police officer Brendan McLoughlin before his whirlwind relationship and subsequent marriage to country star Miranda Lambert.
Bruno and McLoughlin broke up after she learned he had cheated on her while she was playing professional soccer overseas. The other woman, identified as Kaihla Rettinger, called Bruno to tell her she was pregnant with McLoughlin’s child. Bruno’s mother, Carol, told US Weekly McLoughlin “tried to deny it and then begged her to stay with him.” Rettinger gave birth to a baby boy on November 5, 2018, three days after McLoughlin first met Miranda Lambert.
Bruno wrote a message on her Instagram story on February 19, 2019, clarifying she had moved on and that McLoughlin and Lambert’s marriage had nothing to do with her. She wrote in part, “This whole situation is irrelevant to me and whatever happens to all parties involved bares [sic] no weight on my life.” She has since made her Instagram account private.
Here’s what you need to know about Jackie Bruno:
1. Jackie Bruno Played Professionally in Sweden & Now Coaches at the College of Staten Island
Jackie Bruno’s ultimate dream was to make it to the National Women’s Soccer League. She was noticed by the Sky Blue FC team, which is based in New Jersey. But after she was cut from the roster, Bruno decided to look overseas.
She posted a photo to Instagram on July 22, 2018, from JFK Airport with the caption, “Just fulfilling my childhood dream and playing pro soccer in Europe … bye everyone!!!” Bruno had been picked up by a professional team in Sweden.
Her overseas career was cut short by another injury. Bruno posted a photo in late August of 2018 sporting a knee brace and mentioned in November of 2018 that she had needed surgery.
But Bruno’s soccer career has continued in another way. She is now the head coach for the women’s soccer team at the College of Staten Island. According to her bio on the school website, Bruno accepted the job in November 2019 and also serves as the athletic department’s equipment manager.
2. Jackie Bruno Is a Staten Island Native & Received Multiple Accolades For Her Soccer Skills as a Teen
Jacquelyn Elizabeth Bruno was born in August 1994 and was raised on Staten Island. She started playing soccer at age 4 and was soon playing competitively alongside one of her brothers. She told SILive.com, “Playing with my brother gave me some of my greatest memories from my childhood and I think I developed my aggressiveness on the field from those years with the boys.”
Bruno started all four seasons during high school at Staten Island Tech. She racked up 90 goals and 27 assists, including 20 goals during her senior season. She helped lead her team to several playoff appearances and was named All-Staten Island Player of the Year by the New York Post during her freshman and sophomore years. Bruno was named to the All-State team twice and to the PSAL Girls Soccer All-City three times by the New York Daily News.
Bruno devoted a lot of time playing club soccer. She played for the Staten Island United from age 8 through 18. She also played with the Brooklyn Knights, which competed at the national level in 2010. You can see the rest of her accolades listed here.
3. Bruno Played Soccer at the University of Massachusetts & Was Named Co-Captain During Her Junior Season
Bruno went on to play at the collegiate level, at the University of Massachusetts. She impressed during her freshman season, starting in 13 of 20 games and notching three goals.
By her junior season, she was voted co-captain. In September of 2014, Bruno was selected as UMass Athlete of the Week. She earned the recognition for an overtime victory over New Hampshire, in which she scored the winning goals in the 103rd minute of play.
Unfortunately, an ankle injury kept her from playing in at least two matches. Bruno ended up needing surgery and was out of commission for six months. During her senior season, Bruno played in 11 games, starting for 8 of them.
4. Bruno’s College Soccer Career Ended Early When She Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease
Bruno’s ankle injury ended up being a precursor to another serious problem. She ended up missing out on the second half of her senior season after she was diagnosed with Lyme disease.
Bruno told the Daily Collegian that she realized something was wrong toward the end of her spring semester as a junior. She explained that she was feeling fatigued all the time and thought she may have been anemic.
Bruno told the newspaper, “Being in this program for four years and getting so close to my coaches, the team and my class especially, I wish I could have went out with a bang with my class, but all I can do is be supportive and wish the best for them whether I’m on the field or not.”
5. Bruno Worked as a Coach & Played For New Jersey Copa FC While Pursuing Her MBA at Wagner College on Staten Island
Bruno returned to Staten Island after graduating from UMass and began an MBA program at Wagner College. SILive.com reported that Bruno helped out as a coach for Wagner, and also coached for the Cedar Stars Academy youth program.
But Bruno was not ready to give up playing soccer yet. She joined New Jersey Copa FC in 2016. It’s a pro-am soccer club that is part of the United Women’s Soccer League. According to Front Row Soccer, Bruno was named as a captain and was instrumental in the team’s Eastern Conference championship in 2017. She was also named to the All-Conference team twice.
Head coach Roberto Aguas told the website, “Jackie is one of those players that every coach would do anything to have on their team. Not only is her play fantastic, but her leadership and ability to bring together and inspire her teammates is unmatched.”
Bruno has more recently returned to this soccer club. She rejoined the team for the 2021 season, according to New Jersey Copa FC’s Facebook page.