National Champion Pitt’s Nino Bonaccorsi up for Hodge Trophy
Pitt redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi won the National Title at 197 pounds last Saturday at the NCAA Wrestling Championships last Saturday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Bonaccorsi became the first Panther to win a National Title, since his head coach, Keith Gavin, did so at 174 pounds in 2008. Along with Gavin, Bonaccorsi became one of just six Panthers who have won a National Title, while also achieving a perfect record, as he accrued 21 wins to 0 losses.
He joins the nine other National Champions from the nine other weight classes in competition for the Hodge Trophy. The award honors the best wrestler in the country, and it has different things that it considers when naming those wrestlers. The criteria for the award are record, dominance/bonus-point percentage, quality of completion and sportsmanship.
Essentially, the Hodge Trophy is for college wrestlers what the Heisman trophy is for college football players.
The Hodge Trophy Voting Committee, made up of national wrestling media, a retired college coach from each region and a representative of each national wrestling organization all provide significant votes for the 10 wrestlers. There is also an official fan vote on WIN’s website, which accounts for five official First-Place ballots.
Bonaccorsi goes up against some great wrestlers for this award. Five other National Champions finished the season undefeated, and many others have better wins than Bonaccorsi does. He holds the lowest bonus-point percentage of the 10 wrestlers, and he is the only one of the wrestlers to not pin any of his opponents this season.
Pitt fans interested in voting for Bonaccorsi have until Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. EST. If Bonaccorsi won the Hodge Trophy, he would become the first Pitt wrestler to win the award.