Penn State’s Taylor and Purdue’s Bunch Named Big Ten Athletes of - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Penn State’s Taylor and Purdue’s Bunch Named Big Ten Athletes of the Year

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Penn State wrestler David Taylor was named the Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year and Purdue track and field athlete Dani Bunch was tabbed the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on Monday. The pair of standouts have combined to record two individual national championships, four NCAA team titles, 13 All-America honors, nine individual Big Ten Championships and 10 individual postseason conference awards during their illustrious careers.

Taylor is the second Penn State student-athlete to win Male Athlete of the Year accolades, following gymnast Luis Vargas in 2005. Taylor received the 2014 Hodge Trophy as the nation’s top wrestler and was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year for the third time in his career. He became Penn State’s first-ever four-time NCAA finalist and won his second NCAA individual title at 165, leading Penn State to its fourth-straight NCAA Championship in March. He also was named an All-American for the fourth time in his career and earned the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler Award and the NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler laurel in 2014. Taylor leaves Penn State as a member of four NCAA and Big Ten Championship teams. He went 34-0 this season to end the year as the nation’s lone unbeaten Division I wrestler and closed out his career with a 134-3 record. His 97.8 career win percentage included an all-time Penn State best 53 pins, 42 technical falls and 30 majors. Taylor never lost in a dual meet and was a perfect 56-0 all-time against Big Ten competition. A four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Taylor was a first-team Capital One Academic All-American in 2014.

Bunch becomes the sixth Purdue student-athlete to be voted the conference’s Female Athlete of the Year and first since golfer Maria Hernandez claimed the honor in 2009. During the 2013-14 school year, Bunch was a three-time first-team All-American, with a third-place finish in the weight throw and fifth in the shot put during the NCAA Indoor Championships and a fifth-place finish in the shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Bunch won the Big Ten Championship in the weight throw in March, the third of her career, to become the first Big Ten woman to win three weight throw titles. The fifth-year senior was runner-up in the Big Ten in the shot put and also scored in the hammer throw with a second-place finish. She was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year for the indoor season and swept the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Championships awards for the outdoor campaign. Bunch broke the school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, as well as in the weight throw. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Bunch leaves Purdue as a nine-time All-American.

Bunch and Taylor were among a field of heralded nominees for the annual conference honors that included nine individual national champions and three team national champions. The field included 22 All-Americans in 2013-14 that claimed a total of 36 All-America honors this season.

The Big Ten Conference has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 when Indiana’s Jim Spivey earned the inaugural award. The conference first honored a Female Athlete of the Year in 1983, with Michigan State’s Judi Brown collecting the initial award. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year are selected by a panel of conference media members from nominations submitted by each institution.

The complete list of 2014 Athlete of the Year nominations, as well as the list of all-time winners for each award, can be found below.


School                          Male Nominee                                                     Female Nominee

Illinois                           Jesse Delgado (wrestling)                                Jannelle Flaws (soccer)     

Indiana                         Joey DeNato (baseball)                                     Brooklynn Snodgrass (swimming & diving)

Iowa                              Tony Ramos (wrestling)                                    Natalie Cafone (field hockey)

Michigan                      Connor Jaeger (swimming & diving)            Joanna Sampson (gymnastics)

Michigan State          Darqueze Dennard (football)                          Allyssa Ferrell (golf)

Minnesota                  Ellis Mannon (gymnastics)                                Lindsay Mable (gymnastics)

Nebraska                     Miles Ukaoma (track & field)                          Emily Wong (gymnastics)

Northwestern           Jason Tsirtsis (wrestling)                                   Alyssa Leonard (lacrosse)

Ohio State                   Logan Stieber (wrestling)                                 Catherine Shields (rowing)

Penn State                  David Taylor (wrestling)                                    Deja McClendon (volleyball)

Purdue                         Raheem Mostert (track & field/football)   Dani Bunch (track & field)

Wisconsin                    Michael Lihrman (track & field)                      Alex Rigsby (ice hockey)


1982 - Jim Spivey, Indiana, track and field/cross country

1983 - Ed Banach, Iowa, wrestling

1984 - Sunder Nix, Indiana, track and field

1985 - Barry Davis, Iowa, wrestling

1986 - Chuck Long, Iowa, football

1987 - Steve Alford, Indiana, basketball

1988 - Jim Abbott, Michigan, baseball

1989 - Glen Rice, Michigan, basketball

1990 - Anthony Thompson, Indiana, football

1991 - Mike Barrowman, Michigan, swimming

1992 - Desmond Howard, Michigan, football

1993 - John Roethlisberger, Minnesota, gymnastics

1994 - Glenn Robinson, Purdue, basketball

1995 - Tom Dolan, Michigan, swimming

1996 - Eddie George, Ohio State, football

1997 - Blaine Wilson, Ohio State, gymnastics

1998 - Charles Woodson, Michigan, football

1999 - Luke Donald, Northwestern, golf

2000 - Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, football

2001 - Ryan Miller, Michigan State, ice hockey

2002 - Jordan Leopold, Minnesota, ice hockey

2003 - Amer Delic, Illinois, tennis (co)

2003 - Matt Lackey, Illinois, wrestling (co)

2004 - Damion Hahn, Minnesota, wrestling

2005 – Luis Vargas, Penn State, gymnastics

2006 – Peter Vanderkaay, Michigan, swimming

2007 – Cole Konrad, Minnesota, wrestling

2008 – Brent Metcalf, Iowa, wrestling

2009 – Jake Herbert, Northwestern, wrestling

2010 – Evan Turner, Ohio State, basketball

2011 – David Boudia, Purdue, diving

2012 – Draymond Green, Michigan State, basketball

2013 – Derek Drouin, Indiana, track and field

2014 – David Taylor, Penn State, wrestling


1983 - Judi Brown, Michigan State, track and field

1984 - Lisa Ishikawa, Northwestern, softball

1985 - Cathy Branta, Wisconsin, cross country/track

1986 - Stephanie Herbst, Wisconsin, cross country/track

1987 - Jennifer Averill, Northwestern, field hockey/lacrosse

1988 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country

1989 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country

1990 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country

1991 - Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse, Michigan State, diving (co)

1991 - Joy Holmes, Purdue, basketball (co)

1992 - MaChelle Joseph, Purdue, basketball

1993 - Lara Hooiveld, Michigan, swimming

1994 - Kristy Gleason, Iowa, field hockey

1995 - Laura Davis, Ohio State, volleyball

1996 - Olga Kalinovskaya, Penn State, fencing

1997 - Kathy Butler, Wisconsin, track and field (co)

1997 - Gretchen Hegener, Minnesota, swimming (co)

1998 - Sara Griffin, Michigan, softball

1999 - Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue, basketball

2000 - Lauren Cacciamani, Penn State, volleyball

2001 - Katie Douglas, Purdue, basketball

2002 - Christie Welsh, Penn State, soccer

2003 - Perdita Felicien, Illinois, track and field

2004 - Kelly Mazzante, Penn State, basketball

2005 – Jennie Ritter, Michigan, softball

2006 – Tiffany Weimer, Penn State, soccer
2007 – Jessica Davenport, Ohio State, basketball

2008 – Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern, lacrosse

2009 – Maria Hernandez, Purdue, golf

2010 – Megan Hodge, Penn State, volleyball

2011 – Shannon Smith, Northwestern, lacrosse

2012 – Christina Manning, Ohio State, track and field

2013 – Amanda Kessel, Minnesota, ice hockey

2014 – Dani Bunch, Purdue, track and field