Best of the Bonos: John and Paulette Bonamego's best moments


John and Paulette Bonamego may have never crossed paths without the Jacksonville Jaguars team mascot. 

The Central Michigan head coach was in his second year of a three-year stint as an assistant coach for the Jaguars 18 years ago when Jaxson de Ville — the Jaguars mascot — introduced the two. He invited Paulette to Dairy Queen where he expressed his interest to, one day, return to Central Michigan University. 

Paulette was hesitant. She wasn't interested in dating someone with such a busy schedule as a football coach, and wasn't interested in the cold weather in Mount Pleasant. But, as history would have it, Paulette became a Bonamego later that year. 

Just days before Valentine's Day, Central Michigan Life listed five of the Bonamego's greatest moments. 

Cancer Battle

Aug. 21, 2015 — John rings the celebratory bell on the wall at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor after his final radiation treatment for tonsil cancer. For the first five weeks of an eight-week treatment plan, John and Paulette awoke at 4:30 a.m. to drive to Ann Arbor, receive treatment and drive back to start the day at CMU. 

Nov. 21, 2015 — John announces on Twitter that he is cancer-free after being initailly diagnosed with cancer on June 18, 2015.

"Paulette and I want to thank everyone for all the prayers and support," John said in a press release. "The CMU nation has been amazing during this whole process and I am so proud to be your football coach. Being able to represent Central Michigan and coach our young men has really been a dream come true."

The Surprise Tattoo

July 28, 2017 — John surprises Paulette with a tattoo portrait of her on his right arm while on vacation in Florida. At the bottom of the tattoo, it states "Amore Mio" — Italian for "My Love." Paulette had no idea John was going to get the tattoo. She later said she was working out at the time when John asked Paulette to pick him up from the tattoo parlor.

Sleeping with the Trophy

Nov. 2, 2017 — After John's first Western Michigan win in his coaching career, Paulette tweeted a photo of John sleeping next to the Victory Cannon trophy. 

"Wasn't much room in our bed last night," Paulette tweeted. 

After returning to campus for practice, Bonamego joked about the viral tweet that was picked up by several media outlets. 

“That was Paulette being a jokester,” Bonamego told CM Life. “I pretty much passed out in the bed and woke up to (her) maniacal laughter.”

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