Danny Hodge

May 13, 1932 - December 24, 2020

A wrestler of awesome strength, Danny Hodge's physical prowess was so great that often--for his fans at least--it overshadowed his tremendous skills. His grip could shatter a pair of pliers, could crush an apple into applesauce. Had he not studied and carefully utilized proper wrestling techniques, he might well have maimed his opponents instead of dominating them.

In the collegiate style of wrestling, he had no peer, indeed no challenger. He won every one of his 46 bouts for the University of Oklahoma, 36 of them by fall, an astonishing 78 per cent. During his junior and senior years, he pinned 22 consecutive opponents. And no collegiate foe ever took him to the mat from the standing position.

Three times a National Collegiate champion at 177 pounds, he twice was voted the outstanding wrestler of the NCAA tournament.

In one 10-day span in 1956, his junior year, Hodge won the NCAA title and National AAU championships in both Greco-Roman and freestyle, winning every bout in those three tournaments by fall.

Twice he was an Olympic wrestler, placing fifth in 1952 at Helsinki before his college career started, and winning the silver medal in the 1956 Games at Melbourne. There, in the championship bout, he led his Bulgarian opponent by a wide margin when a controversial rolling fall was called against him.

Over five years starting in 1952, his only three defeats in any style of wrestling were administered by three Olympic champions, a Russian, an American and a Bulgarian.

After his collegiate wrestling career, Dan Hodge won national Golden Gloves and National AAU championships in boxing, becoming the first athlete in more than 50 years to win national titles in both sports.

For his legendary achievements as a wrestler, Dan Allen Hodge is honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Awards:

Year
2000
Award
George Tragos and Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Inductee
Chapter/Region
National
Year
1976
Award
Distinguished Members
Chapter/Region
National

All American Awards:

Season
1957
School
Oklahoma
Tournament
Division I
Weight
177
Place
1
Season
1956
School
Oklahoma
Tournament
Division I
Weight
177
Place
1
Season
1955
School
Oklahoma
Tournament
Division I
Weight
177
Place
1

College Season Records:

Season
1957
School
Oklahoma
Class
Senior
Bouts
16
Wins
16
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
15
Win PCT.
100
Place
1st
Season
1956
School
Oklahoma
Class
Junior
Bouts
14
Wins
14
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
11
Win PCT.
100
Place
1st
Season
1955
School
Oklahoma
Class
Sophomore
Bouts
16
Wins
16
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
10
Win PCT.
100
Place
1st
Season
Career
Bouts
46
Wins
46
Losses
0
Ties
0
Falls
36
Win PCT.
100

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