After more than 10 years, the Hodge Trophy finally returns to Stillwater as Oklahoma State wrestler Alex Dieringer was named the recipient of the 2016 WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, presented by ASICS.
Often referred to as the “Heisman Trophy” of wrestling, Dieringer becomes only the second Cowboy and 23rd recipient overall of the prestigious award given to the nation’s most dominant collegiate wrestler. He received 27 of 46 first-place votes from a committee that included all previous Hodge winners, national wrestling media, retired college coaches from different regions of the country and a representative of each of the national wrestling organizations.
Dieringer joins former Cowboy Steve Mocco as OSU Hodge recipients. Mocco was honored in 2005. Oklahoma State is now one of five programs to have multiple Hodge winners.
"I'm so excited," Dieringer said. "It means everything to me. I've been working hard for it. I don't even think it has totally set in yet. To be recognized as the best wrestler in the nation is an honor. I kind of feel like Barry Sanders right now."
He worked for it and he got it. Alex Dieringer, 2016 Dan Hodge recipient! pic.twitter.com/CcpJfc270U— OSU Cowboy Wrestling (@CowboyWrestling) March 28, 2016
He worked for it and he got it. Alex Dieringer, 2016 Dan Hodge recipient! pic.twitter.com/CcpJfc270U
The award comes over an outstanding field of Hodge finalists, including Penn State’s Zain Retherford, Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder and Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett.
The Cowboy senior served up a 33-0 record this season, recording bonus points in all but six matches. His 27 bonus-point wins included 12 falls—10 of which came in the first period—eight major decisions and seven technical falls. He proved his dominance even more as he allowed only one takedown this season and just three takedowns the past two seasons.
In 2014, he won his first NCAA title at 157 pounds before moving up to 165 pounds, where he has dominated the last two years, going 66-0 and cruising his way to two more national titles.
Dieringer wraps his career with an impressive 133-4 overall record and an 82-match win streak, dating back to January 2014. He leaves behind an impressive legacy, becoming the 14th four-time All-American and the seventh four-time conference champion at OSU, in addition to the 16th three-time NCAA champion after a convincing 6-2 win over Wisconsin’s Isaac Jordan in this year’s NCAA finals.
"He is deserving of being recognized as the most dominating athlete in college wrestling," OSU coach John Smith said. He has demonstrated a great deal of dominance throughout his career and has left a great legacy for a lot of future Cowboys to follow.
You can find his named sprinkled throughout the Oklahoma State record books as Dieringer is second all-time in career wins, trailing John Smith, and his unbeaten streak ranks third in Cowboy wrestling history. As far as bonus points go, he has 97 bonus wins as a Cowboy, putting him at fourth all-time, with 16 technical falls, 36 major decisions and 45 falls. His bonus win percentage sits at 72.9 percent, while his overall win percentage is an astonishing 97.1 percent, the fourth-best in school history.
The Hodge Trophy will be officially awarded to Dieringer at the April 21 Oklahoma State wrestling banquet. He will then be publicly awarded the Hodge at a fall football game as has been done with past winners.
The award is named after legendary University of Oklahoma wrestler Dan Hodge. The three-time champion Sooner was undefeated in his three seasons (1955-1957) in Norman. Freshman were not allowed to compete in that era. In going 46-0, Hodge pinned 36 opponents and he was never taken down in his college career.
Hodge Trophy Winners
Year Name School2016 Alex Dieringer Oklahoma State2015 Logan Stieber Ohio State2014 David Taylor Penn State2013 Kyle Dake Cornell2012 David Taylor Penn State2011 Jordan Burroughs Nebraska2010 Jayson Ness Minnesota2009 Jake Herbert Northwestern2008 Brent Metcalf Iowa2007 Ben Askren Missouri2006 Ben Askren Missouri2005 Steve Mocco Oklahoma State2004 Emmett Willson Mont. St.-Northern2003 Eric Larkin Arizona State2002 Cael Sanderson Iowa State2001 Cael Sanderson Iowa State2001 Nick Ackerman Simpson College2000 Cael Sanderson Iowa State1999 Stephen Neal Cal State Bakersfield1998 Mark Ironside Iowa1997 Kerry McCoy Penn State1996 Les Gutches Oregon State1995 TJ Jaworsky North Carolina