LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In just its second year of existence, the Bellarmine University wrestling program is still looking to put itself on the map. An incident at the National Wrestling Coaches Association national convention in Daytona Beach Sunday at least put the Knights on the map there.

That’s where head coach Spencer Adams and assistant Brandon Sellers helped chase down a man who had stolen a women’s wallet, then helped pin the man to the asphalt until police arrived.

Jill Thompson, who was vacationing at the same hotel where the convention was held, described the coaches as, “real-life super heroes” in a release from the school.

She said a man stole her wallet from behind, and that she began screaming that her wallet had been stolen as she gave chase.

The two Bellarmine coaches along with Derek Moore, an assistant coach at California Baptist, responded to Thompson’s shouting and began to chase the suspect.

“All three of us started running at the same time,” Sellers said.

Sellers and Moore cut off his escape route and eventually pulled him to the ground, as he began to try to get free, Adams grabbed him from behind, lifted him off the ground and drove him to the ground.

For you wrestling folks, that’s a lift-and-turn, or a “mat return.” With no mat. Adams, a three-time wrestling All-American at the NAIA level and the first wrestling coach in Bellarmine’s history, said the incident gave him a greater appreciation for the work law enforcement officers do.

“He wasn’t moving,” Adams said.

The men held the suspect for about 10 minutes until police arrived.

“"It all happened so fast," Adams said in the release from the school. "It was a situation where once we all made the decision to go help, everything flowed. (Thompson) was so happy we caught him, and her reaction made it worth it. Also on a personal level, I have the utmost respect for what our law enforcement has to deal with each day. This incident really put that admiration into an even clearer perspective: Where this situation may be once-in-a-lifetime for us, it's an every-day occurrence for them."

Thompson said she was glad the coaches were there when she needed help.

"Thank God he did not have a weapon this time, but these men that came to my rescue did not care if he had a weapon or not," Thompson said. "Their response was immediate and brave. They took control of the situation and made sure that I was safe and justice was served.”

Read more about the incident on Bellarmine’s athletic website, here.

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