TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona senior kicker John Bonano has been named the 2012 Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, it was announced by the league office on Thursday. The Wildcats' three-year kickoff specialist took over placekicking duties for the final seven games of the 2011 season and the entire 2012 season.
A physiology major with a 3.927 GPA, Bonano attends Arizona on an honors academic scholarship. He is currently applying to medical school and undergoing the interview process. He is a 2011 and 2012 Pac-12 All-Academic honoree and a 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-District award winner. A team leader in community service, he logs hours with regular visits to the Diamond Children's Center.
Bonano ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring and No. 1 among kickers with 7.9 points per game. On the season, he is 51-of-52 in PATs and 14-of-20 in field goals. He also ran in for a two-point conversion against ASU. His 14 made field goals ranks tied for No. 2 in the league and his 1.17 field goals per game rank tied for No. 3.
In the 56-31 win over Colorado, Bonano made all eight of his PAT kicks, improving his season total to 45-of-45. Combined with a 24-of-24 success rate in 2011, Bonano converted all 69 PAT tries at that point in his career. That broke the school record of 68-consecutive made kicks set previously by Max Zendejas (1982-84) and Jason Bondzio (2007-08). He extended the streak to 73 extra points, missing his first attempt in the ASU game.
Also handling kickoff duties in 2012, he averaged 6.75 boots per game and 59.0 yards per kick with 37 touchbacks for a season total of 81 kickoffs for 4,780 yards.
Introduced at the start of the 2007-08 season, Bonano is Arizona's second Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete with Spencer Larsen winning the inaugural award. The Wildcats total seven Pac-12 Scholar-Athletes in six sports. Bonano is UA's first award winner since the 2009-10 season.
(Courtesy: Arizona Athletics)