Dec. 1, 2009
ATLANTA – Paul Johnson, who guided Georgia Tech to a 10-2 regular season record and the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division championship, was named the 2009 ACC Coach of the Year on Tuesday.
Johnson is the third man in the league’s history to earn coach of the year honors in his first two seasons in the conference. He finished first by appearing on 24 of the 40 Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association ballots. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Johnson’s opponent in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game, finished second with 10 votes.
“This is really an award for our entire coaching staff and our team,” Johnson said today. “It’s a reflection on all the hard work they put in this season.”
Johnson is the sixth coach in the 57-year history of the ACC to win the award in back-to-back seasons, and the first since Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer in 2004-05. Johnson joins George O’Leary as the only Tech head coaches to win the award twice. Bobby Dodd was named SEC Coach of the Year two times as well.
Johnson, Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (2004-05) and Charlie Pell of Clemson (1977-78) are the only people named Coach of the Year in each of their first two ACC seasons. Other repeat winners of the award are Duke’s Steve Spurrier (1988-89), GeorgeWelsh of Virginia (1983-84) and Jerry Claiborne of Maryland (1975-76).
In two seasons at Georgia Tech, Johnson has posted a record of 19-6 overall, 12-4 in ACC play.
Georgia Tech, ranked 10th in the BCS standings and 12th in both major national polls, suffered just one ACC loss (at Miami on Sept. 17) and one non-conference loss (vs. Georgia on Nov. 28). The Yellow Jackets went 5-1 on the road including their first win ever at Tallahassee against Florida State and their first win on the road against Virginia since 1990. Tech beat fourth-ranked Virginia Tech at home, its first home win over a top-five team since 1962.
The Yellow Jackets went 5-0 in the month of October, a stretch that included four road games.
Tech ranks first in the ACC in eight different statistical categories. The Yellow Jackets lead the nation in time of possession and rank second nationally in rushing offense.
Georgia Tech plays Clemson Saturday at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium in the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game.
The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association is an organization of professional journalists that strives to foster mutually beneficial relationships between the media, the ACC’s administration and the conference’s 12 member institutions. The group casts the official, conference-recognized voting for individual honors in football and men’s basketball. It also selects the league’s outstanding male and female athlete regardless of sport; honors a coach, athlete or administrator for distinctive courage and spirit; and pays tribute to outstanding reporting by or service to the media of the ACC region.
Coach of the Year
Coach School Votes
Paul Johnson Georgia Tech 24
Dabo Swinney Clemson 10
David Cutcliffe Duke 4
Frank Spaziani Boston College 2