Steve Bono
Steven Christopher Bono was born on May 11, 1962 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He is a former quarterback in the National Football League. Bono was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1985 NFL Draft. He was the third quarterback selected in the draft behind Randall Cunningham and Frank Reich.

Steve Bono #13

Player Info

Height 6' 4"
Weight 215 lbs
DOB: 5/11/1962


NFL Draft

1985/Round 6/Pick 142

Career Highlights

Pro Bowl


Team(s) As A Player

Minnesota Vikings 1985-1986
Pittsburgh Steelers 1987-1988
San Francisco 49ers 1989-1994
Kansas City Chiefs 1995-1996
Green Bay Packers 1997
St. Louis Rams 1998
Carolina Panthers 1999

Bono's College Career 

Bono attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received a degree in sociology. As a Bruins quarterback, Bono posted collegiate career numbers of 177 completions in 315 attempts, threw for 2,165 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and led his team by recording 25 sacks while playing middle linebacker. Not just a football star, Bono excelled on the baseball diamond as well, where he earned a varsity letter as the team’s catcher.

Bono's Rocky Road 

In his first two seasons with the Vikings (1985-1986), Bono appeared in only two games. He spent both seasons third on the depth chart behind starter Tommy Kramer and his backup Wade Wilson. At the end of the 1986 season, the Vikings placed Bono on waivers. He then signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bono appeared in five games over two seasons with the Steelers (1987-1988). He made his first NFL start on October 4, 1987 against the Atlanta Falcons. After the 1988 season, the Steelers allowed Bono to become a free agent.

Bono Backs Up Montana, Young 

On June 13, 1989, Bono signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers where he remained for five seasons (1989-1993), his longest stay with one team in his career. Bono spent the 1989 and 1990 seasons as the 49ers’ third-string quarterback behind two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Joe Montana and Steve Young. In 1991, with Montana lost for the season, and Steve Young injured mid-season, Bono started six games. He went 5-1 as a starter and finished the season fourth in passer rating behind Young, Jim Kelly, and Mark Rypien. Bono returned to his backup role behind Young in 1992 and 1993.

Steve Bono Goes To KC - Pro Bowl

Prior to the 1994 season, the 49ers traded Bono to the Kansas City Chiefs, where once again he served as a backup to Joe Montana. “I had a living example of working with the best there ever was,” Bono was saying the day before the Kansas City Chiefs broke training camp in mid-August. “After seeing what he went through, I think I know how to deal with being a starting quarterback.” (1)

After Joe Montana retired, Bono became the starting quarterback in 1995. On October 1, 1995, in a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Bono ran 76 yards for a touchdown, the longest scoring run by a quarterback in NFL history up to that time. In the same season, he guided the Chiefs to a 13-3 record and a division title. At season’s end, he was selected for the AFC Pro-Bowl team. Bono remained the Chiefs starter throughout the 1996 season.

In 1997, Kansas City opted to hand the starting QB role to Elvis Grbac and released Bono. He signed as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers to back up Brett Favre. Bono spent 1998 with the St. Louis Rams, battling with then-starting QB Tony Banks for playing time, and 1999 backing up Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback Steve Beuerlein.

By A. Goodin,
October 27, 2007

Steve Bono Biography Sources

(1) Bono on Top of the Mountain at Last; Once in Montana's Shadow, Career Backup Gets Chance to Shine (1995, September 7) The Washington Post