COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kyle Snyder, who on Sunday became Ohio State’s fifth two-time NCAA champion, is a finalist for the WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, given annually to the nation’s top wrestler. It is considered to be wrestling equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
For the fourth straight year, fans are being asked to help select the winner from the four finalists by voting here. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 28th. The winner of the fan vote will earn two first-place votes among the total ballots from a group of formal voters which includes each former Hodge Trophy winner, national media, representatives of national wrestling organizations and retired former college coaches from different regions.
Last weekend, Snyder capped off a perfect 2016-17 season by defeating second-seeded Connor Medbery of Wisconsin, 6-3, in the 285 lb. final at the NCAA Championships. At 17-0 on the year, Snyder won 13 of his matches via bonus points and averaged over seven takedowns and 15 points/match. His schedule with the Buckeyes was abbreviated, as he also competed oversees for Team USA at the World Wrestling Clubs Cup in Ukraine and the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia. The Yarygin is considered to be the most difficult open tournament in the world and Snyder became the first American male to win gold at the event since 2009.
Over of career, Snyder is 58-4 with two national titles, two Big Ten titles and three All-America honors. He’s won 28 consecutive collegiate matches. Last August while wrestling for Team USA, he became the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in United States history and the first active Ohio State student-athlete to win an Olympic gold medal since Jerry Lucas (basketball) in 1960. His win on Saturday made him the first American wrestlers to win a gold medal and return to college to win a NCAA championship.
In addition to the Hodge Trophy, Snyder is also a finalist for the AAU James E. Sullivan Award, given annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete.