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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Varner is ISU's 2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year

Release: 07/09/2009
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AMES, Iowa--The Iowa State Athletics Department announced today that national champion wrestler Jake Varner was named ISU’s 2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year.

Varner, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., capped off an outstanding junior season by winning the NCAA title at 197 pounds. Varner, who ended the year with a 31-2 mark, defeated Nebraska’s Craig Brester, 2-1 in the final match to give ISU its 65th NCAA individual title in school history.

“It’s a great honor to be in the same group as the other outstanding wrestlers who have won this award in the past,” Varner said.

Varner recently made the U.S. freestyle team for the World Wrestling Championships, defeating 2008 Olympian Andy Hrovat (96-kg) in the finals of the World Team Trials. A three-time All-American and three-time NCAA finalist (2007- 2nd, 184 pounds; 2008- 2nd, 184 pounds; 2009- 1st, 197 pounds), Varner will try to become just the 13th wrestler in NCAA history to be a four-time finalist at the NCAA Championships next season.

The criminal justice major was a 2009 First-Team Academic All-Big 12 honoree.

Iowa State Male Athlete of the Year Award Winners
1947- Ron Norman, Basketball
1948- Glen Brand, Wrestling
1949- Bob Peterson, Basketball
1950- Bill Weeks, Football
1951- Jim Doran, Football
1952- Mal Schmidt, Football & Swimming
1953- Jack Erickson, Football & Wrestling
1954- Max Burkett, Football
1955- Chuck Duncan, Basketball
1956- Gary Thompson, Baseball & Basketball
1957- Gary Thompson, Baseball & Basketball
1958- Frank Powell, Football & Wrestling
1959- Ron Gray, Wrestling
1960- Dwight Nichols, Football
1961- Tom Watkins, Football
1962- Dave Hoppman, Football
1963- Marv Straw, Basketball
1964- Gordon Hassman, Wrestling
1965- Tom Vaughn, Football
1966- Tom Peckham, Wrestling
1967- Zaid Abdul-Aziz (Don Smith), Basketball
1968- Zaid Abdul-Aziz (Don Smith), Basketball
1969- Dan Gable, Wrestling
1970- Dan Gable, Wrestling
1971- Otto Stowe, Football
1972- George Amundson, Football
1973- Chris Taylor, Wrestling
1974- Doug Fitzjarrell, Gymnastics
1975- Al Nacin, Wrestling
1976- Pete Galea, Wrestling
1977- Wayne Stanley, Football
1978- Mark Trippel, Gymnastics
1979- Mike Land, Wrestling
1980- Mike Schwartz, Football
1981- Ron Galimore, Gymnastics
1982- John Quinn, Football 
1983- Nate Carr, Wrestling
1984- Bob Verbeeck, Track & Field
1985- Barry Stevens, Basketball
1986- Mark Diab, Gymnastics
1987- Stewart Carter, Wrestling
1988- Eric Hansen, Swimming
          Jeff Grayer, Basketball
1989- Tim Krieger, Wrestling
1990- Mike Busch, Baseball & Football
1991- John Nuttall, Cross Country and Track & Field
1992- Obinna Eregbu, Track & Field
1993- Jonah Koech, Track & Field
1994- Eric Akin, Wrestling
1995- Fred Hoiberg, Basketball
1996- Dmitry Drozdov, Track & Field and Cross Country
1997- Chris Bono, Wrestling
1998- Dwight Hinson, Wrestling 
1999- Cael Sanderson, Wrestling
2000- Marcus Fizer, Basketball
2001- Jamaal Tinsley, Basketball
          Cael Sanderson, Wrestling
2002- Cael Sanderson, Wrestling
2003- Seneca Wallace, Football
2004- Zach Roberson, Wrestling
          Jake Sullivan, Basketball
2005- Ellis Hobbs, Football
2006- Nate Gallick, Wrestling
2007- Trent Paulson, Wrestling
2008- Chris Baker, Golf
2009- Jake Varner, Wrestling

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