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


Friday Night Football Scores: Week Nine

Email your scores to  sports@chattanoogan.com . THURSDAY NIGHT FINAL: Monterey 50 Sale Creek 0 FRIDAY NIGHT FINALS: Copper Basin 38 Lookout Valley 0 Notre Dame 40 Coalfield 0 Boyd-Buchanan 24 Sequatchie County 14 Tyner 27 East Ridge 3 Hixson 33 Central 12 Bledsoe 33 Silverdale 7 Greeneville 31 Signal Mountain 10 Rhea County 42 East ... (click for more)

Christian Brothers Shuts Out Flames 2-0

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Surging Christian Brothers University handed the visiting Lee men's soccer team a 2-0 Gulf South Conference (GSC) defeat  on Friday  evening. It was the seventh straight victory by the Bucs who improved to 11-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play. The Flames dropped to 7-6-2 overall and 2-4-1 in league competition. Brendan Bennett put CBU on ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Tom Dugan Was A Good Man

Tom was my boss for most of my 36 years at Carta.  At the ceremony where I was awarded my 30-year service award, Tom said, "Don disagrees with 85% of my decisions, but I wish I had 80 more employees just like him." This kind of indicates our relationship. When I asked him to help with my plans for a reunion for the group of Veterans that I served with in Vietnam, he quickly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)