WVU’s Noah Adams Wins Hardman Award As State’s Top Amateur Athlete
About the only thing West Virginia wrestler Noah Adams didn’t win this year was an NCAA title, and that was because the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from getting the chance to do so.
Adams took home another prestigious honor on Sunday when the West Virginia Sports Writers Association announced that he is the 2019 recipient of the Hardman Award, presented to the state’s top amateur athlete.
A redshirt sophomore, Adams is the second WVU grappler to win the award, which is named after the late A. L. (Shorty) Hardman, longtime Charleston Gazette sports editor/columnist. Prior to Adams, Greg Jones earned the honor in 2004 and 2005.
The Coal City, West Virginia, native became WVU’s first Big 12 Wrestler of the Year on April 1, and was named a finalist for the 2020 Win Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy, presented by ASICS, on March 20. He finished the 2019-20 campaign with a 32-0 record, marking the third time a WVU grappler ended a season undefeated.
Adams became the second wrestler in program history to win a Big 12 Conference title on March 8, earning a 5-1 decision over South Dakota State’s Tanner Sloan at 197 pounds. He completed the season with a 13-0 record against conference opponents and was named the Big 12 Wrestler of the Week on Dec. 31 and Jan 21.
Adams’ selection continues a WVU stranglehold on the honor. Men’s basketball’s Jevon Carter won the 2017 and 2018 award, and women’s soccer’s Kadeisha Buchanan doubled up in 2015 and 2016. In all, WVU athletes have earned the Hardman Award 39 times. Football’s Pat White (2006-08) is the only three-time winner.