Illinois Year in Review: Jesse Delgado, Top Male Athlete
Best part of my junior year ... Getting to travel with my team and overcoming the obstacles and having them help me throughout the way.
I always remember Jim Heffernan telling me ... get on Irwin (Academic Center) hours and stay on top of class. Every day after practice. I think he got pretty good grades (at Iowa).
Next year, I will be .... in Illinois training to make the Olympic team. There’s going to be a lot more urgency because it is going to be a higher level.
Five years from now, I hope to be ... coaching at the college level. It wasn’t my goal going into college, but I see how much fun the coaches have being able to stay involved with wrestling.
At my 25th reunion, I will tell the story of ... There are a lot of stories. My first day I got here, that was the story I would tell. There was nothing crazy. It was just introducing everybody to the team and meeting everybody for the first time.
My hidden talent is ... I’m really good at Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 64. It’s just funny.
If I had unlimited resources, I would give Illinois wrestling ... the best facilities. We have everything we need. Give us a bigger locker room, a bigger wrestling room.
Male Athletes of the Year
2014 Jesse Delgado, wrestling
2013 Justin Parr, baseball
2012 Andrew Riley, track
2011 Mikel Leshoure, football
2010 Scott Langley, golf
2009 Paul Ruggeri, gymnastics
2008 Rashard Mendenhall, football
2007 Kevin Anderson, tennis
2006 Justin Spring, gymnastics
2005 Luther Head, basketball
2004 Brian Wilson, tennis
2003 Matt Lackey, wrestling