Georgia Tech's Johnson wins second straight ACC Coach of the Year award

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Two seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference, two coach of the year awards for Paul Johnson.

The Georgia Tech coach once again was the overwhelming choice as the ACC's top coach as selected by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Johnson received 24 of a possible 40 votes cast by ACSMA members, easily outdistancing his counterpart in this week's ACC Championship Game. Clemson's Dabo Swinney had 10 votes, followed by Duke's David Cutcliffe (4) and Boston College's Frank Spaziani (2).

This marks the sixth time a Georgia Tech coach has received the award, and the third time this decade after George O'Leary won it in 2000.

Johnson claimed the award last year after the Yellow Jackets burst onto the scene and ran his complex option-based offense with aplomb, and they one-upped themselves this year by winning the Coastal Division for the first time since 2006, claiming a spot in the league title game and vaulting into the top 10.

The run-first offense led the ACC in scoring (35 points per game), total offense (440.5 ypg), rushing offense (305 ypg) and pass efficiency (160.7 rating). As a result, five starters made the all-conference first team -- including quarterback Josh Nesbitt, running back Jonathan Dwyer and even receiver Demaryius Thomas. They helped Georgia Tech (10-2, 7-1) finish with the ACC's best overall and conference records, and will face the Tigers for a spot in the Orange Bowl.



Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly (koo'-klee) is the Atlantic Coast Conference's defensive rookie of the year.

The freshman from Cincinnati averaged 11.83 total tackles per game, the highest average for a rookie since the NCAA began tracking tackles in 2003. He has made 10 or more tackles in eight straight games.

Kuechly was second in the nation in tackles to New Mexico linebacker Carmen Messina.

Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams was named ACC Rookie of the Year.



Record-setting Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams is the Atlantic Coast Conference's rookie of the year.

Williams was chosen Tuesday as the league's top newcomer following a vote of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

He received 34 votes from 40 voting members to edge out Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, who had 29. Separate votes were held for the offensive and defensive rookie of the year awards, and those vote counts were combined to determine the overall award winner.

Williams worked his way into the starting lineup by Week 1, and wound up tying the ACC season record with 19 rushing touchdowns. His 20 overall TDs set the league's scoring record for freshmen.