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 Tuesday. “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), George Welsh of Virginia (1983-84) and Jerry Claiborne of Maryland (1975-76).
Other Georgia Tech coaches who have been named ACC Coach of the Year: Bill Curry (1985), Bobby Ross (1990), and George O’Leary (1998 and 2000).
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 on Saturday at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium in the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game.