Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe has been named the ACC's Coach of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday afternoon. Voting for the award was conducted by by 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
In his fifth year at the helm of the Blue Devils, Cutcliffe led the team to a 6-6 record and its first bowl eligibility since 1994. Duke will play its ninth bowl game in program history next month. The Blue Devils had won just 10 games in its previous eight seasons before Cutcliffe took over the program in Dec. 2007.
“This honor is both humbling and rewarding because of the quality of the coaches in our conference,” Cutcliffe said in a press release. “Like all awards, the credit reaches far beyond one person and this is truly one for our entire program. Ultimately, the acclaim goes to both our staff and the group of young men that came to practice every day with a desire to improve and prepare, gave their best effort on Saturdays, succeeded academically and served our community with pure selflessness. While this was a season of progress for our program, many of the goals we laid out five years ago have not been reached and we’ll continue our pursuit of excellence.”
Cutcliffe received 25 votes, well ahead of second-place finisher Dabo Swinney of Clemson, who received seven. He is just the fourth coach in Duke history to win the ACC's Coach of the Year award. Bill Murray won the award three times in 1954, 1960 and 1962, current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier received the honor in back-to-back seasons in 1988 and 1989 and Fred Goldsmith won the award after the 1994 season—the last time the Blue Devils played in a bowl game.