Breaking News
More () »

Gophers wrestler Gable Steveson named Big Ten's top male athlete

The Olympic gold medalist and Apple Valley native defended his NCAA Division I title earlier this year.

MINNEAPOLIS — *Editor's note: The above video first aired Aug. 18, 2021.

One of Minnesota's most decorated wrestlers has earned another accolade.

The Big Ten named University of Minnesota star and Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson the 2021-22 Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, potentially capping one of the greatest amateur careers in Gopher wrestling history.

Steveson signed a deal with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) last fall, but the Apple Valley native, who still has one year of college eligibility, has kept the door open for a possible return to the University of Minnesota.

"It is a great honor for Gable to be chosen as Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year among many other remarkable athletes," said Minnesota wrestling coach Brandon Eggum in a press release. "He is such a great representative for the University of Minnesota, our program, and the sport of wrestling. We could not be more proud of his accomplishments."

Steveson is just the fifth University of Minnesota athlete to ever be named the conference's top male athlete. University of Wisconsin volleyball player Dana Rettke earned the award for the Big Ten's top female athlete.

Earlier this year, Steveson defended his NCAA Division I title and was named the Dan Hodge Trophy for the second time in his career, becoming the first heavyweight to win the award multiple times. His 6-2 win over Arizona State's Cohlton Schultz in the NCAA championship was his 54th straight victory. After executing his trademark victory backflip, Steveson took off his shoes and left them at the middle of the mat — signifying that it may have been his final match in Maroon and Gold.

Watch more of Minnesota sports:

Watch the latest sports videos - from high school hockey to the Minnesota Vikings and everything in between - in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out