Former Mocs Coach Chris Bono Returns to Chattanooga

Brings SD State to Southern Scuffle

Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

Chris Bono has a new lease on his wrestling life and so do the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State.

The former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling coach was out of college coaching for two years (working in private business) when the South Dakota State job opened up this past spring and quicker than taking an opponent off his feet and to his back, Bono had pinned down the head coaching job and breathing new life into a struggling program.

“I knew I wanted to coach again at the college level, but only as a head coach,” said Bono.

“The school administration and the community are very supportive of our wrestling program, there is a huge youth program here and Brookings is a wonderful place to live and raise a family,” said Bono whose assistant coach is former UTC assistant and Southern Conference champion Israel Silva.

“South Dakota State had the nation's sixth best recruiting class this fall as we signed six quality high school wrestlers, including Brandon Brunner (three-time D-II state champion) from Baylor School so we are off to a good start in building a strong program.”

Returning to Chattanooga: Bono looks forward to seeing many friends in the Chattanooga wrestling community next week – Southern Scuffle is Jan. 1-2 at McKenzie Arena – but his main focus is how his wrestlers do against some of the top wrestles in the nation

“Chattanooga was good to me and my family while I was there for four years (three as the head coach) and I am excited about being back next week,” said Bono in a phone conversation earlier this week.

“We start five freshmen, but after two months of college wrestling under their belts they are not freshmen any longer and we need to see where we stand at the Scuffle,” he stated.

“With many of the top teams in the nation in one arena it’s going to be a great test for us.”

Southern Scuffle: Arguably the best in-season college wrestling tournament in the nation, the Southern Scuffle brings to McKenzie Arena (Jan. 1-2) the top three teams in the nation – Penn State (2012 NCAA champion), Oklahoma State and Minnesota  – plus No. 6 Missouri, No 8 Cornell, No. 11 Va. Tech and No. 20 Virginia in the 22-team field.

The former Iowa State NCAA champion knows what it takes to produce a national-caliber program as he led UTC to three straight Southern Conference championships (2007-09), had two All-Americans (Matt Keller and Cody Cleveland), a No.20 finish at the NCAAs in 2007 and had wins over nationally-ranked Ohio State, twice.

While Chattanooga is a hotbed for Southern wrestling, Bono feels the same about South Dakota in the Midwest.

“South Dakota State is in a great recruiting area as we are 20 minutes from Minnesota and 40 minutes from Iowa where I wrestled in high school and college and high school wrestling is strong in South Dakota,” he stated.

Southern Scuffle Info: Jan. 1-2 at McKenzie Arena …

General Admission Tickets: Students - $5 … Adults  $15.

Jan. 1 – wrestling starts at 10 a.m.

6:30 p.m. - championship quarterfinals

Jan 2 – Noon – championship semis

6 p.m. - championship finals

 

contact B.B Branton at william.branton@comcast.net



PREP SCHEDULE

(Please notify us of any schedule changes and times as well as game and match scores at news@chattanoogan.com) Softball: SATURDAY, APRIL 21 East Hamilton Tournament MONDAY, APRIL 23 Cookeville at Rhea Co. Silverdale at Notre Dame Soddy Daisy at Baylor Chattanooga Christian at Boyd-Buchanan Sale Creek at CSAS Walker Valley at Hixson ... (click for more)

Complete Results From 2018 Chickamauga Chase 15K, 5K & Trail Run

 ********** OVERALL LISTING - 15K ********** **** OVERALL FEMALE **** Place Name                     Ag Hometown Guntime     ===== ======================== == ==================== =======    1 Amanda Tate ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)