The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced on Wednesday that Connor Jaeger has been named the school’s male athlete of the year, with gymnast Joanna Sampson winning the women’s award.
Jaeger joins an impressive list among male swimmers to have won this honor in 22 years of its history:
- Brent Lang (1990)
- Mike Barrowman (1991)
- Gustavo Borges (1994)
- Tom Dolan (1995-1996)
- Dan Ketchum (2002)
- Peter Vanderkaay (2006)
- Connor Jaeger (2013)
That group of seven men has combined for 14 Olympic medals (7 gold, 3 silver, and 4 bronze); each member of the list aside from Jaeger has at least one Olympic medal to their name, and all aside from Borges and Jaeger have at least one gold (though the Brazilian Borges has four total and three individual, so he’s no slouch either.)
Each winner now becomes eligible for the Big Ten Athlete of the Year, which is voted upon by the media.
“Joanna and Connor are most deserving of the Female and Male Athlete of the Year awards,” said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “Both individuals stood out above the rest in what has been a stellar year for Michigan Athletics. Joanna and Connor take great pride in representing Michigan, and we are pleased that both student-athletes will be returning this Fall for their senior seasons. We look forward to watching them continue to lead the women’s gymnastics and men’s swimming and diving programs to be leaders and best.”
Jaeger took this award by being the best swimmer on the 2013 Men’s NCAA Championship team, which they won over runners-up and defending champions Cal. That included individual national championships in both the 500 and 1650 freestyles and the Big Ten Swimmer of the Year after winning conference titles in the 500, 1650, and 800 free relay.
Other honors that Jaeger has picked up this season includes a spot on the Capital One Academic All-American 2nd team; an Olympian in the 1500 meter free, finishing 6th in London; and being named the Michigan Male College Athlete of the Year by the Detroit Athletic Club.
Jaeger took the award despite the men’s basketball team igniting the student body and making it all the way to the National Championship game, where they were eventually beaten by Louisville. The NCAA Basketball Tournament overlapped with the NCAA Swimming Championships. The men’s gymnastics team also won the National Championship, including Sam Mikulak winning three individual titles (and also being an Olympian.)