Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil and South Dakota State’s Chris Bono have been awarded yearly Big 12 Wrestling honors, as voted on by Conference coaches. Heil is the 2017 Big 12 Wrestler of the Year, while Bono earns the 2017 Big 12 Wrestling Coach of the Year accolade.
Heil, a three-time Big 12 champion, earns the wrestler of the year title after capping off a perfect 32-0 season with his second straight NCAA title in the 141-pound bracket. The junior posted the 15th undefeated season of 29 wins or more in program history.
In South Dakota State’s second season competing in the Big 12, Bono takes home coach of the year honors. Bono led SDSU to a third place finish at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship and 16th at Nationals.
The fifth-year coach of the Jackrabbits saw many firsts this season, including the program’s first Big 12 individual champion and first NCAA finals qualifier in Seth Gross. SDSU also recorded the first two NCAA All-Americans in the school’s Division 1 history with Gross and Alex Kocer finishing in the top eight in their weight classes.