- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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Duke coach David Cutcliffe was named the ACC's Coach of the Year by a vote of 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Cutcliffe received 25 votes, while Clemson’s Dabo Swinney had seven and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher received five. Cutcliffe led the Blue Devils to a 6-6 record and their first bowl berth since 1994.
Cutcliffe was the right man for this year's award, as he had the Blue Devils relevant in November for the first time in decades. Cutcliffe became the fourth Duke coach to win the award and first since Fred Goldsmith in 1994. He is 21-39 in five seasons and his team had a three-game improvement over its 3-9 finish in 2011.
“This honor is both humbling and rewarding because of the quality of the coaches in our conference,” Cutcliffe said in a prepared statement.
Here are the official voting results:
COACH OF THE YEAR
David Cutcliffe, Duke (25)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson (7)
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State (5)
Larry Fedora, North Carolina (4)
Al Golden, Miami (4)
Tom O’Brien, NC State (1)
My take: Golden and Fedora should have gotten more votes. Golden had to replace eight starters on offense and technically, Miami would be playing for the league title if the school hadn't self-imposed a postseason ban. Many thought the Canes wouldn't even be bowl eligible this year. Remember, they had to replace their leading rusher, starting quarterback, and leading receiver from a year ago. And Fedora? Yes, he inherited a talented team, but he also motivated a group that knew from the start it had no chance of playing for the ACC title. With a new staff, scheme and philosophies, an eight-win season was quite an accomplishment for the Tar Heels. Cutcliffe, though, was the most deserving out of all of them.
3dAndrea Adelson and Matt Fortuna