Jordan Burroughs named 2012 John Smith Award winner, as USA Wrestling's Freestyle Wrestler of the Year

July 01, 2013, 12:59 p.m. (ET)
Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) has been named the winner of the 2012 John Smith Award as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the second straight year that Burroughs has won this prestigious award.

The award is named in honor of two-time Olympic champion and four-time World champion John Smith.

Burroughs won a gold medal at 74 kg/163 lbs. in men's freestyle at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. He was joined by teammate Jake Varner, who competed at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. as Olympic champions. It was the first time that the United States has had two men's freestyle gold medalists the same year since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Burroughs opened the Olympics with a victory over Francisco Soler of Puerto Rico, then followed by a defeat of Canada's Matt Gentry. In a tremendous battle in the semifinals, he stopped past World champion Denis Tsargush of Russia in three periods, 3-1, 0-2, 2-1. Burroughs captured the gold medal with a 1-0, 1-0 win over Sadegh Goudarzi of Iran, a rematch of the 2011 World finals also won by Burroughs.

With his victory in London, Burroughs ran record in men's freestyle on the Senior level to 38-0, continuing his unbeaten streak from when he burst onto the international scene after the completion of his college career in the spring of 2011.

Burroughs qualified for his first U.S. Olympic Team with a victory at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa. Burroughs defeated Andrew Howe in the first match of the Championship Series, 4-2, 1-2, 1-0, and took the second match by default when Howe could not compete due to injury.

He won gold medals in all of the other events he entered in 2012. Burroughs opened the year with a victory at the Dave Schultz Memorial International in Colorado Springs, Colo. and the Cerro Pelado International in Cuba in February, defeating American star Trent Paulson in the finals of both tournaments.

Burroughs also claimed a gold medal at the Freestyle World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan in May, winning all five of his matches. Among his victories was over 2011 World silver medalist Sadegh Goudarzi of Iran.

He burst onto the international freestyle scene in 2011 after the conclusion of his college career. Burroughs won his first U.S. Open title in 2011 and made his first World Team with a victory at the 2011 World Team Trials. Other titles during his 2011 season were at the Pan American Games in Mexico and the Ukrainian Memorial International.

Burroughs was a two-time NCAA champion for the University of Nebraska (2009 and 2011), and the winner of the 2011 Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation's best college wrestler. While in college, Burroughs was 10th at the 2008 Junior World Championships.

Originally from Sicklerville, N.J., Burroughs was a 2006 New Jersey state high school champion for Winslow Township High School.

2012 - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
2011 - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb., Sunkist Kids
2010 - J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio, New York AC
2009 - Jake Herbert, Evanston, Ill., New York AC
2008 - Henry Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunkist Kids
2007 - Daniel Cormier, Stillwater, Okla., Gator WC
2006 - Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo., Gator WC
2005 - Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2004 - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2003 - Cael Sanderson, Ames, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2002 - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2001 - Joe Williams, Iowa City, Iowa, Sunkist Kids
2000 - Brandon Slay, Amarillo, Texas, Dave Schultz WC
1999 - Stephen Neal, Bakerfield, Calif., Dave Schultz WC
1998 - Sammie Henson, Norman, Okla., Sunkist Kids
1997 - Les Gutches, Corvallis, Ore., Sunkist Kids
1996 - Kendall Cross, Raleigh, N.C., Sunkist Kids
1995 - Kevin Jackson, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1994 - Melvin Douglas, Mesa, Ariz., Sunkist Kids
1993 - Terry and Tom Brands, Iowa City, Iowa, Team Foxcatcher
1992 - John Smith, Stillwater, Okla., Sunkist Kids