Lee wins Dan Hodge Trophy

The award is presented annually to the nation's most dominant wrestler.


Nichole Harris

Iowa's 125-pound Spencer Lee grapples with Purdue's Devin Schroder during the final session of the Big Ten Wrestling Tournament in Piscataway, NJ, on Sunday, March 8, 2020. Lee won by major decision 16-2, securing the 125-pound championship, and Iowa won the team title with 157.5 points.

Robert Read, Sports Editor

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

“Winning the Hodge Trophy and being recognized by fans, past winners, and members of the media is certainly an honor,” Lee said in a release. “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 named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Year after going 18-0 overall and winning his first career conference title. Only four of his matches went the entire seven minutes.

“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 in a release. “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 Brett Metcalf earned the award in 2008. Lee was the top-seed at 125 pounds and going for his third straight national title before the 2020 NCAA Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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