Michael F. Bonora
Grad Year: 2007
Year Inducted: 2015
Michael F. Bonora ’07 was an outstanding wrestler at Rhode Island College from 2003-04, and 2005-08. He was the NCAA Div. III National Champion at 141 lbs. in 2008, a two-time All-American, three-time Scholar All-American and four-time All-New England selection. During his tenure, Rhode Island College won the New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Championship in 2008, and won the Pilgrim Wrestling League title in 2004.
The Nutley, N.J. native wrapped up his career on the mat with a record of 130-20 (.867) to go along with 470 takedowns, 36 reversals, 74 near-falls and 22 pins.
As a senior in 2007-08, Bonora captured the 2008 NCAA Div. III National Championship at 141 lbs. and attained All-American status. He became just the second RIC grappler to win a national title (Billy Cotter, 1994) and finished the season undefeated against Div. III opponents, the first wrestler to do so in program history.
He was also named a Scholar All-American for the third time in his career. Bonora was also named the Pilgrim Wrestling League’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and a First Team All-Star. He was also named to the league’s Scholar-Athlete All-Star team and selected as team MVP. Bonora received the John E. Hetherman Award, signifying him as RIC’s top senior male student-athlete.
Bonora was the New England Champion at 141 lbs. for the second straight season. He earned first place finishes the Doug Parker Invitational (Nov. 10), the Roger Williams Invitational (Nov. 17) and the R.I.T. Invitational (Dec. 1).
He was 44-2 (.957) to go along with 150 takedowns, 10 reversals, 31 escapes, 36 near-falls and 10 pins on the campaign. Once in control of a match, Bonora was dominant and keeping his opponent within his control, earning a riding time point in 24 of his 46 bouts. Both of his losses were to Div. I opponents.
As a junior in 2006-07, he earned All-American honors, placing sixth, at 141 lbs. at the NCAA Div. III Wrestling Championships. Bonora was RIC’s first All-American grappler in 13 years. He was also the New England Champion at 141 lbs., earned All-New England honors and was named the Pilgrim Wrestling League’s Wrestler of the Year as well as a First Team All-Star. Bonora was also recognized as an NWCA Scholar All-American and was a member of the Pilgrim League’s Scholar-Athlete Team.
He closed out the season with a 48-6 overall record, establishing a new RIC record for wins in a season, to go along with 170 takedowns, 11 reversals, 58 escapes, 17 near-falls and seven pins.
As a sophomore in 2005-06, Bonora earned All-New England honors at 141 lbs., placing fourth at the NECCWA Championships. He was named a Second Team Pilgrim Wrestling League All-Star and earned team MVP honors. On the season, he was 16-3 at 141 lbs. with 50 takedowns, three reversals, 23 escapes, nine near-falls and three pins. Bonora, who left RIC after the 2003-04 season, re-joined the Anchormen in January.
As a freshman in 2003-04, he earned All-New England honors, placing fifth at 141 lbs. For the season, he was 22-9 at 141 lbs. with 100 takedowns, 12 reversals, 42 escapes, 12 near-falls and two pins.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rhode Island College in 2007. He is currently a senior technical recruiter for ZocDoc. Bonora resides Nutley, N.J. with his wife Christina. Bonora authored a book chronicling his wrestling career entitled Wrestling With Your Destiny.