IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa NCAA champion Spencer Lee has been named one of six finalists for the 2021 WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy. The award is presented annually to the nation’s most dominant college wrestler.
Lee won the 125-pound NCAA Championship on March 20. He outscored his five opponents at the national tournament, 59-8, capturing his third career NCAA title and leading Iowa to the team title for the first time since 2010.
Lee was 12-0 in 2021, scoring bonus points in 11 matches and recording five first-period falls. He outscored his 12 opponents 141-15. Not one of Lee’s first eight matches this season went the seven-minute distance. He pinned five opponents and recorded three technical falls, including a 21-3 win by technical superiority in the finals of the Big Ten Championships. He did not allow a point in the NCAA finals, winning 7-0, the largest margin of victory of any of the 10 NCAA finals matches.
He finished the season riding a 35-match winning streak, outscoring his opponents 432-42 during the stretch.
The winner of the Hodge Trophy is determined by the Hodge Trophy Voting Committee, made up of past Hodge winners, a retired college coach from each region, and national media members. A fan vote winner receives five additional first-place votes. Primary criteria for the award are a wrestler’s record, number of pins, dominance and quality of competition. Past credentials, sportsmanship/citizenship and heart are used as secondary criteria in years where two finalists’ stats are nearly equal.
Lee won the Hodge Trophy in 2020, earning 51 of a possible 56 first-place votes. He dominated the 125-pound weight class in 2020, and continues to dominate it now. He was 18-0 in 2020, outscoring his opponents 234-18. He scored bonus points in 17 of 18 wins last year, recording four first-period falls and nine technical falls.
Lee is one of three Hawkeyes to win the award since its inception in 1995. Mark Ironside was honored in 1998 and Brent Metcalf earned the award in 2008.