Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Johnson, Williams, Kuechly get ACC honors

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson has become the third football coach in ACC history to win conference coach of the year honors in his first two seasons in the league, ACC officials announced Tuesday.

Virginia Tech redshirt freshman running back Ryan Williams and Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly were named the ACC rookies of the year on offense and defense, respectively.

Under Johnson, Georgia Tech is 10-2 and playing Clemson in the ACC championship game Saturday in Tampa, Fla. Johnson was the choice of 24 of 40 voters in Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association balloting.

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (10), Duke’s David Cutcliffe (four) and Boston College’s Frank Spaziani (two) also received votes.

Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (2004-05) and Clemson’s Charley Pell (1977-78) are the only other coaches named ACC coach of the year in their first two seasons in the conference.

Williams, the rookie of the year on offense, has rushed for 1,538 yards, the fourth-highest total in ACC history. His rushing total is eighth-highest for a freshman in NCAA history.

He also has tied the ACC record for rushing touchdowns with 19 and set the conference record for touchdowns by a freshman with 20.

Kuechly is averaging 11.83 tackles per game, the highest average by any rookie since the NCAA began tracking the statistic in 2003.

Ken Tysiac