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Oklahoma State's Alex Dieringer wins 2016 Hodge Trophy

The three-time national champion wins collegiate wrestling's Heisman Trophy.

Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Oklahoma State's Alex Dieringer was named the 2016 Dan Hodge Trophy winner, collegiate wrestling's Heisman Trophy on Monday. Dieringer capped off his collegiate career with back-to-back undefeated seasons and his third consecutive individual championship.

Dieringer (165 pounds) earned 27 of the 45 first-place votes from a committee of previous Hodge winners, national wrestling media, retired college coaches from different regions of the country and a representative of each of the national wrestling organizations.

Dieringer is the second OSU wrestler, joining Steve Mocco (2005) to win the award. OSU is now one of five programs to have multiple Hodge winners.

"I'm so excited," Dieringer said in a news release. "It means everything to me. I've been working hard for it. I don't even think it has totally set in yet. To be recognized as the best wrestler in the nation is an honor. I kind of feel like Barry Sanders right now."

The award is named after Dan Hodge, a former three-time (1955-57) NCAA champion from the University of Oklahoma, who did not allow a takedown in his career and pinned 36 of his 46 opponents. Criteria for the award includes a wrestler's record, number of pins, dominance on the mat, past credentials, quality of competition, sportsmanship/citizenship and heart.

Cornell senior Nahshon Garrett (37-0), Penn State sophomore Zain Retherford (34-0) and Ohio State sophomore Kyle Snyder (11-0) were the other finalists.

Dieringer won 27 of his 33 matches by bonus points and only gave up one takedown during his senior season. He recorded three bonus-point wins during the NCAA Tournament with two falls and a major decision. In all, Dieringer had 12 falls, seven technical falls and eight major decisions. He posted 13 wins over ranked opponents.

He became OSU's 16th three-time national champion and first since Jake Rosholt won three from 2003-06 with a 6-2 victory over Wisconsin's Isaac Jordan. He's the first Cowboy to win three straight titles since now-assistant coach Eric Guerrero won from 1997-99.

The Port Washington, Wisc. native posted a 133-4 overall record with a 19-1 record at the NCAA Tournament during his career. His lone loss at the tournament was in overtime to eventual champion Derek St. John of Iowa in Dieringer's freshman season. Dieringer went on to place third. The Cowboy registered his second-consecutive undefeated season and 82-straight wins, the third-longest streak in program history.

Dieringer will receive the award Thursday, April 21 at the OSU wrestling banquet in Stillwater.

Year Name School
2016 Alex Dieringer Oklahoma State
2015 Logan Stieber Ohio State
2014 David Taylor Penn State
2013 Kyle Dake Cornell
2012 David Taylor Penn State
2011 Jordan Burroughs Nebraska
2010 Jayson Ness Minnesota
2009 Jake Herbert Northwestern
2008 Brent Metcalf Iowa
2007 Ben Askren Missouri
2006 Ben Askren Missouri
2005 Steve Mocco Oklahoma State
2004 Emmett Wilson Mont. St.-Northern
2003 Eric Larkin Arizona State
2002 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
2001 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
2001 Nick Ackerman Simpson College
2000 Cael Sanderson Iowa State
1999 Stephen Neal Cal State Bakersfield
1998 Mark Ironside Iowa
1997 Kerry McCoy Penn State
1996 Les Gutches Oregon State
1995 TJ Jaworsky North Carolina