A powerful athlete and a much-admired student, Hugo J. (Hug) Bonino, '36, was one of the key contributors to the success of Washington and Lee athletics throughout his career at the University.
A three-year letterman in both football and wrestling, Bonino's powerful frame was instrumental in W&L victories in both sports. He tipped the scales at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, Herculean size even by today's standards. And Bonino boasted power and speed to go with those measurements.
Bonino, a native of Hawthorne, N.J., played offensive and defensive tackle on the W&L football teams of 1933-35. He was a starter on the 1934 Southern Conference championship team. Bonino was named to the All-Conference First Team in 1935, as well as the 1935 All-State First Team. In wrestling, Bonino was just as much of a force, serving as heavyweight on the dominant W&L teams of the mid-1930s. He helped W&L to Southern Conference championships in 1934 and 1936 and served as captain of the 1935 team. In his three years on the team, W&L lost only once in 19 dual meets. Bonino closed his collegiate career by earning a spot in the U.S. Olympic Trials with his second-place finish in the 1936 NCAA Championships at Washington and Lee.
Regarded by his peers as one of W&L's outstanding athletes, Bonino also was seen as "a tremendous inspiration to his fellow students"and "a gentleman above all things."