Courtesy of Northwestern Athletics
EVANSTON, Ill. — Jake Herbert, winner of two NCAA wrestling championships and the most decorated wrestler in program history, has been elected to the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014. Herbert was selected for inclusion in the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
A native of Wexford, Pa., Herbert arrived at Northwestern in 2003 and, following a redshirt season, quickly spearheaded NU’s rise to prominence in the world of college wrestling. Herbert earned two NCAA championships to become NU’s first two-time national champion since 1931-32, won the 2009 Hodge Trophy as the nation’s top collegiate wrestler, became Northwestern’s second-ever winner of the Big Ten’s Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year Award, was NU’s first-ever three-time Midlands champion and was named the 2009 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year.
Herbert showed signs of what was to come in his career when he went 14-0 as an unattached wrestler in 2003-04. The eventual four-time All-American finished third at his first-career NCAA Championships in 2005, tearing through the consolation bracket with three-straight pins and one tech fall to cap a 33-3 season.
In 2006, Herbert went 36-1 with the first of three Big Ten Championships. He only loss came in the NCAA Championship match–a loss that would be the last of his Northwestern career. Herbert went 32-0 to win the 184 lbs. NCAA title in 2007, then, after taking an Olympic year away from the program in 2008, returned in 2009 with one of the most dominating seasons any wrestler has ever had. Herbert did not surrender a takedown during his entire senior season and earned bonus points for a pin, tech fall or major decision in 27 of his 34 victories en route to his second national title.
Herbert concluded his Northwestern career with a 135-4 overall record, achieving the fifth-best four-year winning percentage of any NCAA wrestler since the 1974-75 season. He ended his time on the collegiate mat with a 66-match winning streak.
After his NU career, Herbert went on to claim a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships and gold at the 2011 Pan American Games before representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Herbert is the ninth wrestler from the modern era and the 17th overall to earn induction into the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame. 2008 NCAA heavyweight champion Dustin Fox was enshrined one year ago.