Chris Bono, formerly the head coach at
Tennessee-Chattanooga and a longtime assistant coach at Iowa State, has been
hired as head wrestling coach at South Dakota State University, Jackrabbit
Director of Athletics Justin Sell announced Tuesday.
"Chris was selected from an outstanding pool of candidates,"
Sell said. "Chris brings tremendous credentials both as an athlete and a coach
and we are excited about the passion he will bring for wrestling in support of
our student-athletes. His hiring gives us an opportunity to build a nationally
competitive program while maintaining our commitment to academics and community
"I'd like to thank the search committee and Justin Sell for
this opportunity," Bono said. "It's something I'm excited about and I am really
fired up to get the program back on the map."
After winning a national title and earning All-America
honors three times during his collegiate wrestling career at Iowa State, Bono
joined the Cyclone coaching staff in 1997 and was promoted to associate head
coach in 2002. While at Iowa State, Bono recruited and coached four-time NCAA
champion Cael Sanderson. He also was named the National Wrestling Coaches
Association Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002 in helping lead Iowa State to a
runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships with five wrestlers earning
Bono moved on to Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2005 as the top
assistant and was named head coach a year later. The Moccasins won three
Southern Conference titles during his tenure and were ranked as high as 10th
in the country during the 2008 season. He led Chattanooga to a 39-17 dual
record, including a 16-1 mark during the 2006-07 season.
In 2009, Bono returned to Iowa State as an assistant coach
for one season before stepping down to enter private business.
Bono has remained active in the wrestling community,
conducting numerous camps and clinics across the country, as well as serving on
the USA Wrestling Board of Directors.
As a collegiate wrestler, Bono won a national title at 150
pounds in 1996 and claimed a runner-up finish in 1997. He also won both Big 8
and Big 12 conference titles en route to 130 career victories.
Bono continued to compete nationally and internationally
after graduating from Iowa State with a degree in exercise and sport science.
He was an alternate for the 2000 U.S. Olympic team and was a member of the U.S.
World Championships team in 2001, 2002 and 2005.