Northwestern 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 Ellen OKeefe, softball  
1983 Chris Hinton, football Kathleen Kochmansky, field hockey and lacrosse
1984 John Kidd, football #Lisa Ishikawa, softball
1985 Joe Girardi, baseball Anucha Browne, basketball
1986 Jim Benepe, golf Katrina Adams, tennis
1987 Shon Morris, basketball #Jennifer Averill, lacrosse and field hockey
1988 Shon Morris, basketball Barb Harris, swimming
1989 Mark Whitehead, wrestling Lori Holmes, swimming
1990 Jack Griffin, wrestling Kim Metcalf, field hockey and softball
1991 Mike Funk, wrestling Michele Savage, basketball
1992 Matt Case, wrestling Michele Savage, basketball
1993 Mark Loretta, baseball Nancy Kennelly, basketball
1994 Kevin Rankin, basketball Kim Paton, swimming
1995 Ron Rojas, baseball Gretchen Scheuermann, field hockey
1996 Pat Fitzgerald, football Betsy Vance, field hockey
1997 Pat Fitzgerald, football Michele Ratay, basketball
1998 Brian Musso, football Joy Stover, swimming
1999 *Luke Donald, golf Megan Chawansky, basketball
2000 Luke Donald, golf Amy Balcerzak, swimming
2001 Luke Donald, Golf Megan Chawansky, basketball
2002 Zak Kustok, football Marine Piriou, tennis
2003 Kellan O'Connor, swimming Cristelle Grier, tennis
2004Jason Wright, football Cristelle Grier, tennis
2005 Matt Grevers, swimming Kristen Kjellman, lacrosse
2006Matt Grevers, swimmingCristelle Grier, tennis
2007Matt Grevers, swimmingGarland Cooper, softball
2008Dustin Fox, wrestlingHannah Nielsen, lacrosse#
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 * Big Ten Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year
# Big Ten Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year