Bono takes job at Tennessee Chattanooga

By John Fuller | Sept. 14, 2005, 12 a.m. (ET)
Chris Bono has confirmed that he has accepted the position of co-head assistant wrestling coach at the Univ. of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Bono declined comment until after the 2005 World Championships, which will take place later this month.

Bono has spent the last eight years as a member of the Iowa State Univ. wrestling staff and the last four years as the head assistant coach. 2000 Olympic silver medalist and 1998 World champion Sammie Henson will serve as the other co-head assistant wrestling coach.

2005 U.S. World Team coach Joe Seay is currently the head wrestling coach at UTC.

On Sunday, Bono will depart for Budapest, Hungary, where he will compete at the 2005 World Championships of freestyle wrestling. Bono will compete at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. on Monday, September 26.

In 2002, Chris Bono was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year. Bono was highly instrumental in leading the Cyclones to a 17-5 dual meet record and a second-place finish at the 2002 NCAA Championships with five All-Americans.

Overall, seven wrestlers have won NCAA titles at Iowa State during Bono's tenure. The Cyclones took runner-up honors as a team at the NCAA Tournament twice during that time as well.

Internationally, Bono has been one of the best freestyle wrestlers in the world. He competed in the 2001 World Championships and was a member of the 2002 U.S. World Team that did not compete at the championships in Tehran, Iran due to a credible threat of violence placed against the team.

Bono won a gold medal at the 2003 World Cup. He captured U.S. Freestyle Nationals titles in 2003 and 2005 and was a runner-up at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

As a collegiate competitor at Iowa State from 1994-97, Bono amassed 130 wins, ranking fifth on Iowa State's all-time victory chart. Bono advanced to the NCAA Championships his freshman season after placing third at the Big Eight Conference meet. In his sophomore campaign, Bono compiled a 41-11 record, placed fifth at the 1996 NCAA Championships and was the Big Eight Conference runner-up at 150 lbs.

Bono capped a superlative junior year by winning the NCAA 150-pound title. He tallied a 37-4 record and won another Big Eight championship. As a senior, Bono placed second at the NCAA Tournament. He totaled 37 wins against three losses and was named the outstanding wrestler at the inaugural Big 12 Conference Championship.

Bono earned his bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Iowa State in 1997. He and wife, Niki, were married July 3, 1999. They have two daughters, Josie and Ellie Dru.