Minnesota Athlete of the Year Finalists

Big Ten Directors of Athletics approved a recommendation of the sports information directors to establish a Big Ten Athlete of the Year named for Jesse Owens, Big Ten - Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year Award beginning in 1982. Indiana track performer Jim Spivey was the initial award winner.

In 1983, the Directors of Athletics approved a separate athlete of the year award for women's athletics. In 1991-92, the women's award was renamed the Big Ten - Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year award as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of women's athletics in the Conference.

1982 Brian Meeker, gymnastics  
1983 Randy Breuer, basketball Robin Huebner, gymnastics
1984 Joey Ray, gymnastics Jody Eder, track
1985 Dave Morrisson, track Laura Coenen, basketball
1986 Ron Backes, track and field Diane Wallner, swimming
1987 Collin Godkin, gymnastics Sue Roell, swimming
1988 Darrell Thompson, football Eileen Donaghy, track/cross country
1989 Mike Zechmeister, swimming Kate Hughes, golf
1990 Dan Wilson, baseball Marie Roethlisberger, gymnastics
1991 Brent Gates, baseball Rachel Lewis, track and field
1992 John Roethlisberger, gymnastics Trina Thames, swimming
1993 *John Roethlisberger, gymnastics Laurie Nelson, diving
1994 Omar Douglas, football and track Carol Ann Shudick, basketball
1995 P.J. Bogart, diving Kara Martin, diving
1996 Bernie Zeruhn, swimming Tanya Schuh, swimming
1997 Bobby Jackson, basketball #Gretchen Hegener, swimming
1998 James McLean, golf Jennifer McElmury, soccer
1999 Tim Hartung, wrestling Shannon Beeler, softball
2000 Tyrone Carter, football Aubrey Schmitt, track and field
2001 Ben Hamilton, football Aubrey Schmitt, track & field
2002 *Jordan Leopold, Ice Hockey Lindsay Whalen, Basketball
2003 Adam Steele, track & field Shani Marks, track & field
2004 Damion Hahn, wrestling* Lindsay Whalen, basketball
2005 Guillermo Alvarez, gymnastics Krissy Wendell, ice hockey
2006 Greg Eslinger, football Laura Johnson, gymnastics
2007 Cole Konrad, wrestling* Heather Droniden, track
2008 Jayson Ness, wrestling Heather Dorniden, track
* Big Ten Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year
# Big Ten Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year