NEW YORK -- It's official! Clayton Echard has been named the next "Bachelor."
Clayton will kick off season 26 of the show's 20th year starting on Monday, January 3.
Viewers watched Clayton as he tried to win current "Bachelorette" Michelle Young's heart, but fell short. One crowd he did win over was Michelle's 5th-grade students. They gave him some words of wisdom and encouragement as they hoped he would find love again.
Clayton shared his genuine desire to find a partner and start a family, and now he'll get his second chance at finding that great love.
7 things to know about Clayton:
1) He was nicknamed "Claynos" by his friends in the house due to his sculpted physique.
2) Clayton graduated with a bachelor's degree in health science from the University of Missouri, where he also minored in business and Spanish.
3) He currently works in medical sales but is embarking on his MBA with the intention of starting his own business.
4) A walk-on for the University of Missouri football team, Clayton quickly became a scholarship player who took on a prominent role in guiding the team to back-to-back SEC championship games and a national top 10 ranking.
5) He had a brief stint with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.
6) Back home in Missouri, Clayton enjoys spending time at his family home on Lake St. Louis. You can often find him there tubing out on the boat, fishing off the dock, or getting competitive over some cornhole with his friends, his two younger brothers, and his mom and dad.
7) His parents, Brian and Kelly, have been married for 29 years, and their relationship is precisely the kind Clayton so desperately wants for himself. Just like his parents, Clayton says he's looking for a partner, a great love, and a best friend.