It was announced on Wednesday that football’s Adam Korsak and gymnastics’ Hannah Joyner earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor for Rutgers. The prestigious award is given each year to “one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating class of each member institution who have demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career. The conference’s most exclusive award was the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence.”
Both winners for Rutgers will be remembered as legends by their respective programs. They both exemplified what it meant to excel as Scarlet Knights on the field, in the classroom and in the community itself. They will be remembered as all-time Scarlet Knights.
Hannah Joyner is the most Rutgers gymnast of all-time. She is the program record holder in the all-around and balance beam. Joyner scored a 9.9+ a program record 40 times in her career. She is also the first ever four-time First Team All-Big Ten honoree in program history.
Joyner was the first Rutgers gymnast to become an NCAA qualifier on the beam and and third ever NCAA qualifier in program history. She also made three NCAA regional appearances over her four year career.
Rutgers gymnastics has steadily improved year over year in head coach Umme Salim-Beasley’s tenure. Joyner has be the face of the program and a catalyst in the team earning some of the highest scores in RU history. Appropriately, Rutgers set the new team score record of 196.875 on Joyner’s Senior Day.
Academically, Joyner was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and was named to two WCGA Scholastic All-America lists.
Adam Korsak capped his run as the greatest punter in Rutgers history by winning the 2022 Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter. He was also named First Team All-America by The Sporting News. Korsak led the national with 32 punts downed inside the 20 as well as a mind boggling minus 11 return yards against.
In his Rutgers career, Korsak became the NCAA all-time leader in punting attempts (349) and yardage (15,318). He also is tied for the program record with 58 games played and was a three-time captain. From a 27 game period between 2019 and 2022, Korsak made 150 straight punts without a touchback. He owns the school record for the longest punt at 79 yards and never had punt blocked or return in 349 career attempts. Korsak only had 7 touchbacks compared to 41.5% of his punts downed inside the 20 over his five year career.
Korsak is also four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and a member of the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team® for holding a GPA of at least 3.5.
2023 marks the 109th anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor and is the ninth year that Rutgers has had student-athletes win the award since joining the conference in 2014.
Here is a full list of the all-time Rutgers Big Ten Medal of Honor winners:
2023: Adam Korsak (football) & Hannah Joyner (gymnastics)
2022: Geo Baker (men’s basketball) & TT Naslonski (women’s lacrosse)
2021: Kieran Mullin (men’s lacrosse) & Gianna Glatz (field hockey)
2020: Jordan Pagano (wrestling) & Amanda Visco (women’s soccer)
2019: Anthony Ashnault (wrestling) & Sarah Johanek (rowing)
2018: Michael Rexrode (men’s lacrosse) & Casey Murphy (women’s soccer)
2017: Ken Theobold (wrestling) & Alyssa Bull (field hockey)
2016: Corey Crawford (men’s track & field) & Brianne Reed (women’s soccer)
2015: David Milewski (football) & Betnijah Laney (women’s basketball)
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