Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Friedgen named ACC's Coach of the Year
By Heather Dinich
Ralph Friedgen was voted ACC Coach of the Year and quarterback Danny O’Brien was voted the conference’s top overall and offensive rookie by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
Xavier Rhodes of Florida State was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Friedgen, who led the Terps to a six-game turnaround from last season (2-10 to 8-4), received the Coach of the Year award for the second time in his career (2001), while O’Brien is the first Terp to be named ACC Rookie of the Year (award was instituted in 1975).
Friedgen (29) eclipsed Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech (19) in the voting.
The Terps were in the running for their first-ever Atlantic Division title due in great part to the emergence of O’Brien, who is the third-ranked freshman passer in the FBS (135.20 rating). He has completed 179 of 315 passes for 2,257 yards, the sixth-highest total for a freshman in ACC history.
O’Brien, who received 54 of the 61 votes cast as the top overall rookie, has thrown 21 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. His TD total ranks second in school history, while his interception percentage of 1.90 (6 picks in 315 attempts) leads all FBS freshmen quarterbacks.
Friedgen, who ranks third in school history in all-time wins (74), is the fourth Maryland coach to be honored by the league (also Jim Tatum – 1953, 55; Jerry Claiborne – 1973, 75, 76; Bobby Ross – 1982).
The eight all-time ACC Coach of the Year awards for Maryland is tied for the league lead with Clemson and Virginia.
Friedgen and O’Brien will be honored Friday in Charlotte, N.C., at the ACC Night of Legends during ACC Championship weekend in Charlotte, N.C.
The Terps will attempt to win nine games for the 14th time in school history when they play in a yet to-be determined bowl game. Four of those nine-win seasons have come during Friedgen’s previous nine years.
If Maryland wins its bowl game, it will become the first team in the ACC’s 58-year history to go from two or fewer victories in one season to nine or more the next.
The six-game improvement in the win column for the Terps is currently second-best in the FBS. Miami (Ohio) has made a seven-game jump from 2009.