NCAA Champion Gable Steveson has earned the greatest honor in college wrestling as the winner of the 2021 WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, presented by ASICS Wrestling. He shares the top individual award in the nation with Iowa’s Spencer Lee. It is just the second time in the 27-year history of the award that two wrestlers were recognized.
“It was a bit of a surprise when I got the news because Spencer Lee is such a great wrestler,” said Steveson. “But winning the Hodge Trophy is something I thought about all year. Winning the NCAA was first but then I wanted to win the Hodge, too. It was a childhood dream and now it’s crazy to see that it’s happened.”
Steveson completed his second straight unbeaten season with his first NCAA heavyweight title on Saturday, March 20 in St. Louis. His road to the title included a 16-6 major decision against fifth-seed Tony Cassioppi of Iowa in the semifinals and 8-4 decision in the finals against No. 2 Mason Parris of Michigan. Steveson tied Lee for the tournament lead with 24.5 team points.
Steveson compiled a 17-0 season record with 14 of the 17 wins resulting in bonus points. He had three major decisions, four pins and seven technical falls and gave up just one takedown. Steveson recorded the second-fastest pin in school history with his 13-second fall against Michigan State’s Connor Bowes in January. He added a 34-second pin against No. 6 Luke Luffman of Illinois in February.