By Centre Athletics
The Southern Athletic Association released its final awards of the 2017-18 season as they gave out their Man and Woman of the Year awards to the most distinguished male and female student-athletes in the conference, as voted on by the league’s athletic directors and front office. For the second straight year, the Man of the Year award went to Centre College as senior swimmer Noah Martin (Spartanburg, South Carolina) earned the distinction for 2017-18.
Martin follows Centre men’s lacrosse standout Mason Paas ’17, who earned the distinction for 2016-17.
Martin is one of the most accomplished swimmers in the history of the Centre men’s program, earning All-SAA honors all four of his years with the Colonels, including First Team All-SAA honors in each of his last three seasons. Martin’s best statistical season came as a junior when he was the top scorer at the SAA Championships, en route to being named 2017 SAA Men’s Swimmer of the Year. Martin has shattered the school records in the 100-yard and 200-yard fly, breaking his own records in those events on multiple occasions. Martin is also a member of the 200-yard medley relay squad that owns the current Centre school record.
“Noah has made a tremendous impact on not only our program but our school,” said Centre Head Swimming and Diving Coach Dean Brownley. “He has been a three-year captain, which is very rare. His teammates felt as if he was worthy of being a captain his sophomore year. In the pool, he has been our go-to swimmer when we have needed to win an event, not only in his specialty of butterfly but in sprint freestyle as well.”
On the academic side of things, Martin graduated from Centre with a GPA of 3.98 and a degree in history with a minor in English, receiving the George Winston Welsh Prize as the senior man with the highest grade-point average. In addition, he was one of two senior speakers at this year’s Honors Convocation, at which he received the Breckinridge Jones Prize as the highest-ranking history student. Martin has been named to the Centre Dean’s List in every semester that he has been at the College.
Martin was a member of the SAA Academic Honor Roll each of his four years at Centre and last week was named to the CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District team. At the Centre Athletics Awards Show on May 7, Martin was selected by Centre Athletics senior staff as the 2017-18 Male Student-Athlete of the Year based on the same criteria that the NCAA uses to determine its Man and Woman of the Year awards.
As a testament to both Martin’s academic prowess and service to the Centre community, Martin is just one of three students in the Class of 2018 to be inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa society. He came to the College as part of the Brown Fellows program, and the leadership opportunities that program provided allowed him to spend two summers abroad, including a trip to South Africa in the summer of 2017, where he completed an environmental journalism internship that focused on conservation and sustainable tourism. After returning from South Africa, Martin collaborated with the local farmer’s market in his hometown of Spartanburg to provide healthy, locally produced food to low-income communities.
Upon graduation, Martin will be entering a two-year Teach for America program, where he will serve as an English teacher in a low-income area of Mississippi. Martin has also been a servant leader within the confines of Centre, as he has served for two years in both the Student Government Association Senate, of which he was president, as well as the Student Judiciary.
“In short, if we had more Noah’s in the world today, we would live in a better place,” added Brownley. “I realize that he is a rare person, but I truly feel blessed to have had the opportunity to coach him.”