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Iowa Wrestling — Spencer Lee Wins Dan Hodge Trophy

photo courtesy of hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior Spencer Lee has been named winner of the 2020 WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s most dominant college wrestler. He earned 52 of a possible 57 first-place votes.

The award was announced Monday by Win Magazine publisher, Bryan Van Kley.

“Winning the Hodge Trophy and being recognized by fans, past winners, and members of the media is certainly an honor,” Lee said. “The criteria behind the trophy is in line with the values of the Iowa Wrestling program, and I want to thank my teammates, coaches, and fans for their endless support. I also want to congratulate the other finalists. No one got the end they wanted, but this is still a season we should all be proud of.”

Lee dominated the 125-pound weight class in 2020, outscoring his opponents, 234-18. He scored bonus points in 17 of 18 wins, recorded four first-period falls and nine technical falls, and averaged 5.0 team points per match.

Lee was 18-0 overall, won his first conference title, and was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year. Only four of his 18 matches went the entire seven minutes. Lee was 5-0 in the month of January with five technical falls. He outscored those five opponents 84-1.

“This is a unique Hodge Trophy because of the lopsided point differential. When you talk about 234 points to 18, that has got to be unprecedented,” said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. “When you look at a guy who can dominate by taking you down and letting you up and taking you down; that is one thing. But to get on top of a guy and score 17 straight points in 2 1/2 minutes, that is a whole different animal and tell-tale of dominance. Give Spencer Lee full credit.”

Lee is the third Hawkeye in program history to win the award since its inception in 1995. Mark Ironside was honored in 1998, and Brent Metcalf earned the award in 2008. Ironside and Metcalf were both NCAA champions. Lee was the top-seed at 125 pounds and going for his third straight national title before the 2020 NCAA Championships were called off March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First-place Hodge votes:

  1. Spencer Lee, 52
  2. Kollin Moore, 3
  3. Ryan Deakin, 1
  4. Shane Griffith, 1

All-Time WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy Winners

Year Name School
2020 Spencer Lee Iowa
2019 Bo Nickal Penn State
2018 Zain Retherford Penn State
2017 Zain Retherford Penn State
2016 Alex Dieringer Oklahoma State
2015 Logan Stieber Ohio State
2014 David Taylor Penn State
2013 Kyle Dake Cornell U.
2012 David Taylor Penn State
2011 Jordan Burroughs Nebraska
2010 Jayson Ness Minnesota
2009 Jake Herbert Northwestern
2008 Brent Metcalf Iowa
2007 Ben Askren Missouri
2006 Ben Askren Missouri
2005 Steve Mocco Oklahoma State
2004 Emmett Willson Mont. State-Northern
2003 Eric Larkin Arizona State
2002 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
2001 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
& Nick Ackerman Simpson College
2000 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
1999 Stephen Neal CSU Bakersfield
1998 Mark Ironside Iowa
1997 Kerry McCoy Penn State
1996 Les Gutches Oregon State
1995 T.J. Jaworsky North Carolina