Greenie – 18 Years After

At yesterday’s school meeting, we were asked to identify and describe (in one minute) an individual who has inspired us. Although it was all pretty open ended, we were talking about issues like resolve, commitment, redemption, persistence, etc.

I identified one Adam Greenberg ’96.  Adam attended Hyde-Bath on my watch as head of school and distinguished himself as one of our best wrestlers ever.  Shortly after beginning college, Adam called me to tell me that he was: 1) quitting wrestling; 2) dropping out of college; 3) embarking on a new career as a stand-up comic.

I was floored for at least (but not limited to) three reasons. I: 1) couldn’t imagine him not wrestling; 2) am always concerned whenever any alum drops out of college; 3) didn’t recall him ever cracking a joke. (As far as Senior Superlatives go, let’s just say that he could have gotten my vote for Least Likely to Become a Comedian. He was a very focused and serious kid.)

Fast forward to last month: I watched him do his routine on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  (It was his third appearance on the show.)  Yeah, right, what do I know?

During my 1-minute explanation at the meeting, I indeed extolled Adam’s resolve, commitment, redemption, and persistence.  After the meeting, I dug out a piece I wrote on him during February of his senior year (1996) at Bath.  Check it out:

(February, 1996)
This month Adam Greenberg ‘96 established a new benchmark for Hyde wrestlers: Class A New England Prep Champion for the fourth consecutive year.  Since freshman year he has faced a gauntlet of the best wrestlers from the likes of Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, NMH, etc.  Each year he has dispatched them all and stood on the winner’s platform at the end of the day – all action, no talk. (Well, I’m told he has uttered as many as three words this year.)

There are many alums out there who feel that those who did not wrestle simply did not attend Hyde.  Although all Hyde wrestlers work hard, there are distinct classes of initiative.  Some ask, “What do I need to do in order to survive the season?”  Others ask, “What do I need to do to make the Prep team?”  Some get to a point where they ask, “What will it take to be a champion in my weight class?”  A very select few – Rick Hirsch ‘74, the 3 Goodrich brothers, Adam – get to a point where they ask, “I wonder how good I might be if I ate, slept, and drank this sport.” 

Whereas the wrestlers in the first three groups typically rely on their coaches to demand best effort from them, those in the fourth pledged their best effort long ago.  Their coaches serve as spiritual advisors. 

Not only is Adam an inspiration to all of us at Hyde, he’s even become a topic of conversation in our local area.  The guy who sold Bud Cox his Christmas tree in Wiscasset asked about him.  I heard men talking about him in a Bath grocery store.  The only guy who doesn’t talk much about it is Adam.  He’s too busy preparing for the Prep Nationals at Lehigh in March.  I did hear that a smile snuck in there when he picked up that fourth medal.   I’m looking forward to his graduation speech when he’ll have to tell us all about it.

Google Adam Hunter (his stage name) and Jay Leno and you can watch Adam’s recent performance on The Tonight Show.  You might also find him at any number of wrestling matches in and around L.A. as he has returned to the sport as a devoted coach.

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld