Bonilla-Jusino takes over for former mentor Forgione at Bristol Central

Mike Forgione, pictured with two-year-old son Peyton at Peyton’s second birthday last June.
Forgione resigned as head coach of Bristol Central girls outdoor track and field after 21 seasons.

The Bristol Central girls outdoor track and field team began their season Wednesday at home against Newington.
Some things were different, and it wasn’t just the new track and turf field.
There was also a different leader of the pack, and her name is Kiara Bonilla-Jusino. Bonilla-Jusino, a former track athlete at Bristol Central, is in her first season as head coach.
Former head coach Mike Forgione wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Forgione resigned last November after 21 seasons as head coach.
“I have a couple former captains of mine on the coaching staff so I hope one of them gets the head position and keeps our tradition going — that would make me so proud to see a former captain take over for me,” Forgione wrote in an email talking about his resignation.
Another former captain, Alasia Griebel, is on the boys staff at Bristol Central.
Forgione called his 21 years as head coach “an unbelievable experience.”
“It was a very tough decision but it was time,” Forgione wrote.

Bonilla-Jusino (SCSU athletics)

Forgione was a legend at Bristol Central. His Ram teams compiled a record of 200-39. Bristol Central won 11 CCC South Division championships and finished in the Top 5 at the Class L state meet six times. From 2007-14, no school stood at the top of the CCC South other than Bristol Central.

Records were also broken at an amazing rate under Forgione.
“Every school record was broken during my 21-year tenure except the shot put which was set in 1989,” Forgione wrote.
Forgione’s first season as head coach was in 1996. The first CCC South championship came in 2000, the first of three straight.
When Bristol Central began a run of eight straight CCC South titles in 2007, Bonilla-Jusino and Griebel were right in the middle of it. Both earned all conference honors in the division in 2007. Bonilla picked up the same distinction again in 2008 and 2009. 

Griebel (SCSU athletics)

Griebel, an All-State and All-New England selection, went on to compete at UConn and SCSU.
Bonilla and Griebel weren’t the only standout athletes under Forgione. Far from it, actually.
There’s also names like: Lindsey Bomar, Jillian Sullivan, Melissa Monnerat, Krystal Michelson, Jacqualine Croce (two-time state champion in 2003), Sara Paradis, Kayla Sakowski, Anna Mikucki (state champion 2002 and 2003), Alexandra Czuchta, Erika Nolting, Stacy Fournier, Rachel Dombrowski, Kelly Lejeune, Meredith Rogers, Amanda Martin (state champion 2009), Paige McCarthy, Alexandra Hughes, Alyssa Brandt, Lauren Bossi (state champion in 2013), Samantha Webber, Nicole Marrero (state champion 2011), Elise Galipo, Melissa Cummings, Megan Heffernan (state champion 2014), Aubrey Palmquist, Esharra Walton, Nadia Kreciglowa, Cynthia Bukowski, Ashley Elder, Danisha Craig, Natalie Kreciglowa, Erika Monsalve and Shy-Ann Whitten. 
All of the above had strong finishes in Class L or LL state meets. All were CCC South all-conference choices, along with many of their teammates. And that’s not all of them. There are many, many more who contributed to the great teams that Forgione had.
All of these girls had another thing in common. They were all coached by Forgione, who left Bristol Central with a tremendous legacy.