Positively Promoting the Student Athlete Since 1992

Iowa women’s basketball center and Penn State wrestler claim honors.
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Iowa women’s basketball center Megan Gustafson was honored as the 2018-19 Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, and Penn State wrestler Bo Nickal was recognized as the 2018-19 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.
Gustafson is the first Iowa student since Kristy Gleason (field hockey) in 1994 to be recognized as the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year. She is the eighth basketball standout to claim the honor. Gustafson concluded her Iowa career as the most decorated Hawkeye in women’s basketball program history. She became the first Big Ten student to be named consensus national player of the year (Associated Press, ESPN, Naismith and the United States Basketball Writers Association). Gustafson was named the Honda Sport Award winner for basketball and was one of three finalists for the Honda Cup, given to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. She owns 16 Iowa school records including career marks for points (2,804) and rebounds (1,460). Gustafson was named the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Year and Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player in leading the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament title. She was awarded Iowa’s Big Ten Medal of Honor and Iowa Female Athlete of the Year in May. Gustafson led the nation in five categories as a senior including points per game (27.8), field goal percentage (69.6), total points (1,001) and double-doubles (33). She also holds the conference career records for rebounds (1,460), field goal percentage (.657) and double-doubles (88).
Nickal is the first Penn State student to be named Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year since fellow wrestler David Taylor was honored in 2014. He is the third Penn State male student to be recognized and 11th wrestler to win the award. Nickal was the 2019 NCAA champion at 197 pounds and was honored with the 2019 Dan Hodge Trophy as the most outstanding college wrestler of the year. Nickal was named the 2019 Co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Year (with teammate Jason Nolf) following a season in which he claimed his third Big Ten title. Overall, he was 120-3 at Penn State with 59 pins, 12 technical falls and 23 majors. He was 19-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, winning three national titles. He earned the 2019 NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler accolade as he finished his senior season with a perfect 30-0 record. Nickal was part of four consecutive NCAA championship teams with the Nittany Lions, winning the crown in each of his competitive seasons at Penn State.
Gustafson and Nickal were among a field of nominees that included 11 national champions, 25 All-Americans, 16 Big Ten champions, 14 individuals who won Big Ten Player of the Year honors and six who collected a national player of the year accolade.
The Big Ten Conference has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 and first honored a Female Athlete of the Year in 1983. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year are selected by a panel of conference media members from nominations submitted by each institution.
The complete list of 2018-19 Athlete of the Year nominations, as well as the list of all-time winners for each award, can be found below.
2018-19 BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
SCHOOL
MALE NOMINEE
FEMALE NOMINEE
Illinois
Devin Quinn, track & field
Jordyn Poulter, volleyball
Indiana
Andrew Gutman, soccer
Lilly King, swimming
Iowa
Spencer Lee, wrestling
Megan Gustafson, basketball
Maryland
Donovan Pines, soccer
Megan Taylor, lacrosse
Michigan
Devin Bush, football
Kate Fahey, tennis
Michigan State
Cassius Winston, basketball
Asya Reynolds, track & field
Minnesota
Shane Wiskus, gymnastics
Lexy Ramler, gymnastics
Nebraska
Anton Stephenson, gymnastics
Mikaela Foecke, volleyball
Northwestern
Sebastian Rivera, wrestling
Selena Lasota, lacrosse
Ohio State
Dwayne Haskins, football
Sade Olatoye, track & field
Penn State
Bo Nickal, wrestling
Ally McHugh, swimming
Purdue
Carsen Edwards, basketball
Sherridan Atkinson, volleyball
Rutgers
Anthony Ashnault, wrestling
Sarah Johanek, rowing
Wisconsin
Morgan McDonald, cross country/track & field
Beata Nelson, swimming
BIG TEN JESSE OWENS MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
1982 – Jim Spivey, Indiana, track and field/cross country
1983 – Ed Banach, Iowa, wrestling
1984 – Sunder Nix, Indiana, track and field
1985 – Barry Davis, Iowa, wrestling
1986 – Chuck Long, Iowa, football
1987 – Steve Alford, Indiana, basketball
1988 – Jim Abbott, Michigan, baseball
1989 – Glen Rice, Michigan, basketball
1990 – Anthony Thompson, Indiana, football
1991 – Mike Barrowman, Michigan, swimming
1992 – Desmond Howard, Michigan, football
1993 – John Roethlisberger, Minnesota, gymnastics
1994 – Glenn Robinson, Purdue, basketball
1995 – Tom Dolan, Michigan, swimming
1996 – Eddie George, Ohio State, football
1997 – Blaine Wilson, Ohio State, gymnastics
1998 – Charles Woodson, Michigan, football
1999 – Luke Donald, Northwestern, golf
2000 – Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, football
2001 – Ryan Miller, Michigan State, ice hockey
2002 – Jordan Leopold, Minnesota, ice hockey
2003 – Amer Delic, Illinois, tennis (co)
2003 – Matt Lackey, Illinois, wrestling (co)
2004 – Damion Hahn, Minnesota, wrestling
2005 – Luis Vargas, Penn State, gymnastics
2006 – Peter Vanderkaay, Michigan, swimming
2007 – Cole Konrad, Minnesota, wrestling
2008 – Brent Metcalf, Iowa, wrestling
2009 – Jake Herbert, Northwestern, wrestling
2010 – Evan Turner, Ohio State, basketball
2011 – David Boudia, Purdue, diving
2012 – Draymond Green, Michigan State, basketball
2013 – Derek Drouin, Indiana, track and field
2014 – David Taylor, Penn State, wrestling
2015 – Logan Stieber, Ohio State, wrestling
2016 – Denzel Valentine, Michigan State, basketball
2017 – Kyle Snyder, Ohio State, wrestling
2018 – Kyle Snyder, Ohio State, wrestling
2019 – Bo Nickal, Penn State, wrestling
BIG TEN FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
1983 – Judi Brown, Michigan State, track and field
1984 – Lisa Ishikawa, Northwestern, softball
1985 – Cathy Branta, Wisconsin, cross country/track
1986 – Stephanie Herbst, Wisconsin, cross country/track
1987 – Jennifer Averill, Northwestern, field hockey/lacrosse
1988 – Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country
1989 – Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country
1990 – Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country
1991 – Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse, Michigan State, diving (co)
1991 – Joy Holmes, Purdue, basketball (co)
1992 – MaChelle Joseph, Purdue, basketball
1993 – Lara Hooiveld, Michigan, swimming
1994 – Kristy Gleason, Iowa, field hockey
1995 – Laura Davis, Ohio State, volleyball
1996 – Olga Kalinovskaya, Penn State, fencing
1997 – Kathy Butler, Wisconsin, track and field (co)
1997 – Gretchen Hegener, Minnesota, swimming (co)
1998 – Sara Griffin, Michigan, softball
1999 – Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue, basketball
2000 – Lauren Cacciamani, Penn State, volleyball
2001 – Katie Douglas, Purdue, basketball
2002 – Christie Welsh, Penn State, soccer
2003 – Perdita Felicien, Illinois, track and field
2004 – Kelly Mazzante, Penn State, basketball
2005 – Jennie Ritter, Michigan, softball
2006 – Tiffany Weimer, Penn State, soccer
2007 – Jessica Davenport, Ohio State, basketball
2008 – Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern, lacrosse
2009 – Maria Hernandez, Purdue, golf
2010 – Megan Hodge, Penn State, volleyball
2011 – Shannon Smith, Northwestern, lacrosse
2012 – Christina Manning, Ohio State, track and field
2013 – Amanda Kessel, Minnesota, ice hockey
2014 – Dani Bunch, Purdue, track and field
2015 – Taylor Cummings, Maryland, lacrosse
2016 – Rachel Banham, Minnesota, basketball
2017 – Lilly King, Indiana, swimming
2018 – Lilly King, Indiana, swimming
2019 – Megan Gustafson, Iowa, basketball