COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a career that saw him become Ohio State’s first-ever four-time All-American while winning numerous other awards for his work in the classroom, Ryan Terefenko added another piece to his trophy case on Monday.
Terefenko was announced as Ohio State’s male recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is the conference’s most exclusive award. Track and field standout Sade Olatoye was the Buckeyes’ female Medal of Honor winner. The award was first given out 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 more than 8,200 student-athletes, but only 28 earn this prestigious award on an annual basis.
“I’ll never be able to put into words what receiving the Big Ten Medal of Honor means to me,” said Terefenko. “My time at Ohio State was the best years of my life, and being able to represent and compete for this athletic department and university has been the biggest honor of my life. It’s incredibly humbling knowing the number of people who have had such a massive impact on my life throughout my career here. None of this would have been possible without the support system that I had at Ohio State and my family. Thank you.”
Terefenko is the third men’s lacrosse player to receive the award, joining Roger Beck in 1962 and Kevin Stephan in 2002.
Athletic 𝗔𝗡𝗗 Academic Excellence
It's easy to see why @Teerrryyy is one of Ohio State's @bigten Medal of Honor 𝗪𝗜𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗥𝗦❗️
🔗: https://t.co/B3tKYJqYwk#GoBuckeyes pic.twitter.com/zu2vRYWpz5
— Ohio State Men's LAX (@OhioStateMLAX) May 31, 2021
“When we talk about what it means to be a Buckeye lacrosse player, Ryan exemplifies it all,” said head coach Nick Myers. “By every measure, he’s an outstanding and deserving recipient of this award. It’s a fitting way to end his collegiate career. Now, we’ll look forward to rooting him on as a professional and watch him have a positive impact of the sport as a coach.”
A Sinking Spring, Pa. native, Terefenko last week became Ohio State’s first-ever four-time USILA All-American. Her played in 59 career games and filled the stat sheet in every way possible. His final numbers included 20 goals, 20 assists, 166 ground balls, 15 caused turnovers and a .571 face-off winning percentage (8-of-14). Quite simply, he was a rare breed of player that did it all.
In the classroom, Terefenko graduated last May with his degree in sport industry. But when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic ended his senior season prematurely, he had the opportunity to return to Ohio State in 2021 and finish out his eligibility. That he did, captaining the Buckeyes this past spring for the third straight year while enrolling in Ohio State’s sports management master’s degree program. Despite missing four full games and most of a fifth, he was a third-team All-American by the USILA at short stick defensive midfield.
A USILA Scholar All-American, OSU Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Terefenko intends to play professional lacrosse and coach in the future. This past weekend, he began training camp with Chrome LC on the Premier Lacrosse League, which selected him with the 12th overall pick in last month’s draft. He was also chosen with the 27th overall selection in the 2020 National Lacrosse League Draft by the Halifax Thunderbirds.