Ben Askren, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Freestyle team and one of the more highly decorated collegiate wrestlers in recent history, is entering his first season as a volunteer assistant coach with the Sun Devil program after spending the previous two seasons in the same capacity at Missouri. A four-year starter at 174 pounds for Missouri (2004-07), Askren will supervise day-to-day operations for the progrma while also continuing his training for international competition as a member of the Sunkist Kids organization.
Askren put together an impressive collegiate career that saw him advance to the finals of the 174-pound weight class four times and capturing the national title in each of his last two seasons in Columbia (2006 and 2007). The four-time All-American and three-time Big XII champion was a dominant force in his final two seasons as he went undefeated and won 87 matches in a row, which ranks among the Top 10 all-time in NCAA history. Along with 93 career wins by fall, Askren also collected an NCAA record by pinning 18-consecutive opponents in the first period of their matches.
For his success on the mats as a junior and senior, Askren was honored by W.I.N. Magazine as its Dan Hodge Award winner, an award given annually to the top collegiate wrestler. In those same years, Askren accumulated the most falls in the least amount of time at the NCAA Championships to earn the Schalles Award. He completed his career with a record of 153-7 and added four Academic All-Big XII honors to his mantel.
After earning his degree from MU in 2007, Askren remained in Columbia and served as a volunteer assistant coach, working along side Charles for two years before both came to Tempe. During his two years after graduating, Askren continued to hone his skills and went on to capture the 74kg freestyle championship at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. With the victory came a spot on the Team USA roster and trip to the Beijing Olympics where he posted a 1-1 record on the world's largest stage.
A native of Hartland, Wis., Askren was a two-time Wisconsin state champion (2001, 2002) and also was a three-time high school All-American (2000-02). During his prep days, he won the 2002 Junior National tournament and was the runner-up at the High School Nationals while also taking fourth in the FILA Junior Freestyle Nationals. One year prior, he also took fourth in the FILA Cadet Freestyle Nationals and was fifth in the 2000 Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals.
The Askren File
2008 U.S. Champion and U.S. Olympian (74kg freestyle)
Two-time NCAA Champion for Missouri at 174 pounds (2006, 2007)
Four-time NCAA finalist and All-American (2004-07)
Three-time Big XII Conference champion
Two-time Dan Hodge Award winner
Two-time Schalles Award winner
Career 153-7 record at MU
Won 93 matches by fall (fourth-most in NCAA history)
Won 18-consecutive matches by fall in the first period (NCAA record)
Undefeated over his last two years of competition at MU
Won his last 87 matches in a row (Top 10 in NCAA history)
Four-time NWCA All-Academic selection
Four-time Academic All-Big XII selection
Graduated from Missouri in 2007