Dan Hodge, of Perry , Oklahoma , was a great amateur wrestler and a legendary professional champion.
He was undefeated during his entire collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma , winning three NCAA titles at 177 pounds and being named the Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA tournament in both 1956 and 1957. He is one of the greatest pinners of all time and his legendary hand strength made him one of the most feared wrestlers to ever step in a ring or on a mat.
He also won three national freestyle titles and was a silver medalist in the 1956 Olympics. He is the only amateur wrestler to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated (April 1, 1957). In addition, he is one of two men to ever win national titles in both boxing and wrestling.
Hodge is considered by many to be the greatest junior heavyweight professional wrestling champion ever. He wrestled professionally for over twenty years and was one of the top attractions in the United States and in Japan .
The Dan Hodge trophy is presented annually by the International Wrestling Institute and Museum and W.I.N. magazine to the top college wrestler in the U.S. , and has been called “The Heisman Trophy” of wrestling.