Georgia Tech coach earns ACC award

Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Two seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference, two coach of the year awards for Paul Johnson.


The Georgia Tech coach once again was the overwhelming choice as the ACC's top coach as selected by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Johnson received 24 of a possible 40 votes cast by ACSMA members, easily outdistancing his counterpart in this week's ACC championship game.

This marks the sixth time a Georgia Tech coach has received the award, and the third time this decade after George O'Leary won it in 2000.

Johnson claimed the award last year after the Yellow Jackets burst onto the scene and ran his complex option-based offense with aplomb, and they one-upped themselves this year by winning the Coastal Division for the first time since 2006, claiming a spot in the league title game and vaulting into the top 10.

The run-first offense led the ACC in scoring (35 points per game), total offense (440.5 ypg), rushing offense (305 ypg) and pass efficiency (160.7 rating).

As a result, five starters made the all-conference first team -- including quarterback Josh Nesbitt, running back Jonathan Dwyer and even receiver Demaryius Thomas. They helped Georgia Tech (10-2, 7-1) finish with the ACC's best overall and conference records, and will face the Tigers for a spot in the Orange Bowl.

Johnson brought up his offense after being told of his award.

"It helps wash away all the negatives that people try to sell about the different system and those kind of things," he said.

Clearly, Johnson coaches with a chip on his shoulder. He's even conceded that he's a little too sensitive to criticism, but says that comes from people telling him throughout his career that an offense resembling the 1970s wishbone might work just fine in Division I-AA, or even at a talent-challenged school such as Navy, but it would never succeed in a BCS conference.


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