Each year, the Big Ten Conference awards the Big Ten Medal of Honor to the most outstanding male and female senior student-athlete on each B1G campus. Domenik Koch, a fencer from Dormagen, Germany, is one of five men’s finalists for the 2020 award.
Koch ended his Buckeye career as a four-time All-American, with two first team honors (2018, ’19) and as the eighth Ohio State men’s fencer to earn four All-America laurels. He posted three Top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, winning two bronze medals, and was headed for a fourth NCAA appearance when the 2020 championships were canceled. As a senior, he was a First Team All-Midwest Fencing Conference selection after placing third at the conference championships. Koch earned Second Team All-Midwest Region accolades with a third place finish at 2020 NCAA Regionals. He was part of three MFC team overall championships along with a men’s team title in 2020 when overall teams were not recognized. The men’s saber squad won the weapon title all four of his years as well.
The team’s saber captain, Koch earned his bachelor’s degree in finance in Spring 2019 and enrolled in graduate school in corporate finance, earning his master’s degree in Spring 2020. He was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” Big Ten schools currently feature almost 9,500 student-athletes, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis. In the 100-plus years of the Medal of Honor, almost 1,400 student-athletes have earned this distinction.