IRVING, Texas – South Dakota State’s Chris Bono was honored Wednesday as the Big 12 Wrestling Coach of the Year after leading the Jackrabbits to their most successful season at the Division I level.
During the recently completed 2016-17 season, the Jackrabbits compiled a 14-5 dual record, including an 8-1 mark against Big 12 Conference foes. SDSU finished third at the Big 12 Conference Wrestling Championship in early March and placed second among conference schools – and 16th overall – at the 2017 NCAA Championships with 133-pound national runner-up Seth Gross and 149-pounder Alex Kocer becoming the program’s first All-Americans in the Division I era.
In five seasons at SDSU, Bono has compiled a 50-39 dual record, including a 14-3 mark in Big 12 competition. The Jackrabbits have sent 17 wrestlers to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships since Bono took over the program at the start of the 2012-13 campaign, including five wrestlers each of the past two seasons.
Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil, who capped an undefeated season with his second consecutive NCAA title at 141 pounds, was named Big 12 Wrestler of the Year.