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


Randy Smith: We Need A 6-Team Playoff

Let me see if I have this right. The College Football Playoff is set with four teams for 2016. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington. The Big 12 champ Oklahoma is out and so is the Big Ten champion Penn State. Two of the Power Five conferences will be shut out right? Wait a minute......Ohio State is seeded third in this year's playoff, yet the Buckeyes not only failed to win ... (click for more)

UTC's Davis To Play In Reese's Senior Bowl

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Keionta Davis has accepted an invite to participate in the the 2017 Reese's Senior Bowl, announced today.  Davis is the 2016 Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year and led the league with 10.5 sacks as a defensive end. The Senior Bowl is the nation's most unique football game, featuring the country's best senior collegiate ... (click for more)

Valerie Bray Pleads Guilty In Death Of Well-Known Runner Cameron Bean

A long-time Moccasin Bend Hospital employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning in connection with the death of well-known runner Cameron Bean. Ms. Bray pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality involved. Defense attorney Bill Speek said she faces one-two years on each charge at a sentencing hearing on Feb. 1 at 1:30 ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President - And Response (2)

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)