Nolf and McHugh awarded Penn State Big Ten Medal of Honor

By Penn State University Athletics | June 17, 2019, 11:37 a.m. (ET)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Seniors Ally McHugh (Philadelphia, Pa./Little Flower Catholic) and Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa./Kittanning HS) have been selected as Penn State's recipients for the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor for 2018-19.

The Big Ten, the nation's oldest collegiate conference, commemorates the 105th anniversary of a very unique tradition - the Big Ten Medal of Honor. The conference's most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work."

In 1982, the award was expanded to include one female student-athlete from each member institution. Big Ten institutions feature nearly 10,000 students competing in intercollegiate athletics, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In more than 100 years of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, nearly 1,400 students have earned this distinction.

Jason Nolf

Nolf wrapped up one of the most successful collegiate wrestling careers in NCAA history in March by winning his third consecutive NCAA Championship at 157 pounds. He ended a stellar 2018-19 season with a perfect 31-0 record, including 15 pins, five technical falls and six majors. His sixth and final major of the year was a resounding 10-2 major decision victory in the NCAA title bout over the nation's second-ranked wrestler. Nolf helped lead Penn State to its fourth straight NCAA team title and eighth in nine years.

From Yatesboro, Pa., Nolf won the 2019 Big Ten Championship and was named the 2019 Big Ten Championship Co-Outstanding Wrestler. He was a first team All-Big Ten selection as well and was the 2019 Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Year (with teammate Bo Nickal). A May graduate in kinesiology, Nolf leaves Penn State with a stunning 117-3 career record, including 60 falls, 27 tech falls and 16 majors.

Nolf's collegiate career accolades and accomplishments are numerous and include: Penn State's third three-time NCAA Champion, second four-time NCAA finalist and 11th four-time All-American; finished second, first, first and first at the NCAA Championships during his career; helped lead Penn State to four straight NCAA team titles; four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree; three-time NWCA First Team National All-Academic and a 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-American (second team). A total of 103 of his 117 wins were for bonus points and he leaves Penn State among the top 20 in all-time wins. Nolf's 60 falls are the most ever in Nittany Lion wrestling history.

Nolf also was a recipient of Penn State Athletics' 2018-19 Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award (with women's soccer's Emily Ogle), presented to one female and one male student-athlete who have combined successful athletic participation with academic excellence.