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


Insight Into Lookouts' New Manager, Doug Mientkiewicz

In about a week, the 2015 edition of the Chattanooga Lookouts will be arriving under the auspices of a new parent-club, the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have replaced veteran manager Tom Kelly with Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor who begins his first season at the helm.  One of the finalists for the Twins' job was Doug Mientkiewicz who spent 12-years in the Major Leagues. Mientkiewicz ... (click for more)

Covenant Splits With North Carolina Wesleyan

The Covenant baseball team finished off Saturday's suspended game with a 15-11 victory, but could not hold a late lead in the USA South series finale losing 5-4 at North Carolina Wesleyan on Monday afternoon at Bauer Field. Covenant goes to 9-14 on the year and 6-9 inside the USA South. The victory in the resumed game clinched a series win for the Scots, the first since Feb. ... (click for more)

Cabela's To Open Fort Oglethorpe Store May 13

Cabela’s announced Monday plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Fort Oglethorpe store on Wednesday, May 13, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration featuring giveaways, family activities and more.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela's executives and special guests, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)