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Nov. 26, 2002

Raleigh, N.C. – University of Virginia football coach Al Groh was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year in voting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association for the Associated Press.

Picked eighth in the conference in the preseason, Groh has taken one of the youngest squads in the nation and guided it to a second-place finish with a 6-2 league record and an 8-4 overall record with one game remaining.

The second-year coach was an overwhelming choice, getting 49 of a possible 74 votes cast. Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen garnered 16 votes, Jim Grobe of Wake Forest 4, Florida State’s Bobby Bowden 3 and N.C. State coach Chuck Amato 2.

“I’m very appreciative of it and of the efforts of people like Matt Schaub, Billy McMullen, Merrill Robertson, and a lot of other players, and of our assistant coaches,” said Groh. “I believe that the organization wins. By that I don’t mean are all the pencils in order, but the totality of your organization. Therefore, it pleases me that you only get this award if you win (games). I feel good that that’s significant of the fact that our operation is being run in such a fashion and in a good way, and in a classy way, that we can win and continue to win.”

Three Cavaliers-LB Angelo Crowell, WR Billy McMullen and QB Matt Schaub-were named first-team All-ACC, while three more-DE Chris Canty, S Jerton Evans and TE Heath Miller-were named to the second-team announced yesterday.

Groh is the fourth UVa coach to win the league’s top coach award. George Welsh won the award a record four times (’83, ’84, ’91, ’95), while Bill Elias won it in 1961 and George Blackburn in 1968.

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