Coaches Hall of Fame: Dale Bonge

Hall of Fame – 1996

Stepping on the mat at Plainview High School, Dale totaled 106 wins and 11 losses while wrestling at 112,119,132, and 132. He was a 4x state placer and a State Champ, in addition to being a high school All American. Entering college at McCook Junior College and later transferring to Kearney State he was a 2x national qualifier and brought up a record of 43 wins, 18 losses, and 3 ties. After graduation he went to Columbus High and became their assistant coach from 1979-1983. During that time Columbus brought home the first place trophy 3x. Pretty good work for a kid just out of college. Taking the head job at Albion in 1983, where he is today, Dale’s knack for producing champions and championship teams revealed itself again, the mark of a true coach. Albion brought home the State Champ Crown in 1984 and again in 1995, taking second in 1985 and in 1996. His dual meet record stands at 59-22-1 with wins in 59 tournaments. State medalists number 41 and State Champs are at 11, numbers a lot of coaches twice his age don’t see. Dale has also coached the Nebraska Junior National Team for 5 yrs., been on the board of directors of USA Wrestling 13 years, elected to the NSWCA Board in 1984 and again in 1993, and was NSWCA Class B Coach of the Year in 1988. He was chosen Nebraska USA Wrestling Man of the Year in 1991, and coached a foreign exchange team to South America in ’72 and to Germany in ’79. When asked to name his biggest thrill, Dale responded, “Aside from the obvious top thrills of my wife saying ‘yes’, my three children being born, and being fortunate enough to be a part in several championship teams and individual championships, my greatest thrill in wrestling is still getting to wrestle on a daily basis.” Dale is introduced by his former college roomate and teammate Coach Cliff Gallant of Clay Center.

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