Three months after winning the 174-pound title 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Chris Perry was named 2013-14 Oklahoma State Male Student-Athlete of the Year, the Stillwater-based school announced Tuesday.
Jenna Blumer, an equestrian rider, was selected as Oklahoma State’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year.
Since 1994, the annual award has been presented to one male and one female student-athlete at Oklahoma State. To qualify for the award, a student-athlete was required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have completed more than 100 academic credit hours.
Perry is the eighth Cowboy wrestler to have won the honor, joining mat legends such as Mark Branch, Mark Munoz, Johnny Thompson, and Nathan Morgan. No other men’s sport can claim as many honorees.
A graduating senior, Perry completed his Oklahoma State career as a four-time Big 12 conference champ, a three-time NCAA All-American, and two-time NCAA champ, winning back-to-back titles at 174 in 2013 and 2014. He completed the season with a near-flawless 30-1 record, and was one of five finalists for the 2014 Hodge Trophy, the award presented to the nation’s top collegiate wrestler.
As a Cowboy, Perry compiled an overall record of 122-11, which puts him among the top ten of all-time scorers at Oklahoma State. He also became only the sixth wrestler in the storied history of the wrestling program to have earned four conference crowns.
Despite his crowd-pleasing performances on the mat, Perry put his wrestling career in perspective upon learning he had won the Male Student-Athlete of the Year honor.
"There are so many people to thank for the successes I've had here, but special thanks to my teammates, my coaches and the people in the academic center," Perry said. "The most important things to me during my time at OSU were my schoolwork, the people around me and the fans. I want people to look at me as not just a good wrestler, but also a good person. It wasn't all about making sure I won a certain amount of titles. I want people to look back on me and say that he was one of the greatest to wrestle here, both on the mat and off the mat."
Long-time head coach John Smith – an alum of the Oklahoma State wrestling program himself – weighed in with his thoughts on the latest Cowboy wrestler to pin down the school-wide award.
"He's set an example on our team throughout his career," said Smith. “He really gained steam as he went through his career. There's no question that he shows great passion on the mat and shows a great conscience academically. Our program is excited about having the Student-Athlete of the Year and it should motivate the next guys."