Junior middle blocker Dana Rettke of the volleyball team and junior running back Jonathan Taylor of the football team were both named University of Wisconsin Athletes of the Year.
The pair also serve as Wisconsin’s nominees for the Big Ten Conference Athlete of the Year honors, which will be awarded on Thursday.
The Big Ten has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 and first honored a Female Athlete of the Year in 1983. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year are selected by a panel of conference media members, with one male and one female student-athlete nominated from each Big Ten institution to be considered for the honor.
One of the country’s best middle blockers, Rettke helped lead the Badgers to the 2019 NCAA National Championship match and earned her third-consecutive selection as a first-team All-American (2017, 2018, 2019). The 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year, Rettke was also selected to both the 2019 NCAA Championship All-Tournament team and 2019 NCAA Regional All-Tournament team.
Rettke competed with the U.S. National Team during the summer of 2019, winning the Volleyball Nations League and qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She was a finalist for both the 2020 AAU James E. Sullivan Award and a 2019 Honda Award.
Taylor cemented his place as one of the great running backs in college football history during the 2019 season.
He finished his career with 6,174 yards, finishing number-six all-time in rushing among FBS players and is the only player to ever eclipse the 6,000-yard mark in just three seasons. His career total ranks No. 2 all-time among Big Ten players, trailing only Badgers great Ron Dayne (7,125).
Taylor repeated as winner of the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s premier running back in 2019, while also earning unanimous first-team All-America honors for the second straight season.
Taylor was picked in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.