Big Ten Athlete of the Year

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 Jim Spivey, Indiana, track and field/cross country  
1983 Ed Banach, Iowa, wrestling Judi Brown, Michigan State, track and field
1984 Sunder Nix, Indiana, track and field Lisa Ishikawa, Northwestern, softball
1985 Barry Davis, Iowa, wrestling Cathy Branta, Wisconsin, cross country/track and field
1986 Chuck Long, Iowa, football Stephanie Herbst, Wisconsin, cross country/track and field
1987 Steve Alford, Indiana, basketball Jennifer Averill, Northwestern, field hockey/lacrosse
1988 Jim Abbott, Michigan, baseball Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country
1989 Glen Rice, Michigan, basketball Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country
1990 Anthony Thompson, Indiana, football Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, track and field/cross country
1991 Mike Barrowman, Michigan, swimming Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse, Michigan State, diving, Joy Holmes, Purdue, basketball (tie)
1992 Desmond Howard, Michigan, football MaChelle Joseph, Purdue, basketball
1993 John Roethlisberger, Minnesota, gymnastics Lara Hooiveld, Michigan, swimming
1994 Glenn Robinson, Purdue, basketball Kristy Gleason, Iowa, field hockey
1995 Tom Dolan, Michigan, swimming Laura Davis, Ohio State, volleyball
1996 Eddie George, Ohio State, football Olga Kalinovskaya, Penn State, fencing
1997 Blaine Wilson, Ohio State, gymnastics Kathy Butler, Wisconsin, track and field, Gretchen Hegener, Minnesota, swimming (tie)
1998 Charles Woodson, Michigan, football Sara Griffin, Michigan, softball
1999 Luke Donald, Northwestern, golf Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue, basketball
2000 Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, football Lauren Cacciamani, Penn State, volleyball
2001 Ryan Miller, Michigan State, ice hockey Katie Douglas, Purdue, basketball
2002 Jordan Leopold, Minnesota, ice hockey Christie Welsh, Penn State, soccer
2003 Amer Delic, Illinois, tennis
Matt Lackey, Illinois, wrestling
Perdita Felicien, Illinois, track and field
2004 Damion Hahn, Minnesota, wrestling Kelly Mazzante, Penn State, basketball
2005 Luis Vargas, Penn State, gymnastics Jennie Ritter, Michigan, softball
2006 Peter Vanderkaay, Michigan, swimming & diving Tiffany Weimer, Penn State, soccer
2007 Cole Konrad, Minnesota, wrestling Jessica Davenport, Ohio State, basketball
2008 Brent Metcalf, Iowa, wrestling Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern, lacrosse
2009 Jake Herbert, Northwestern, wrestling Maria Hernandez, Purdue, women's tennis

School-By-School Yearly Finalists