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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. This the second time Groh has been named ACC Coach of the Year (2002).

“Throughout the course of this season, our team has been about … we, us and ours.’ That’s a mentality that has provided unity and a sense of purpose,” Groh said. “There have been no individual agendas along the way and that’s required a lot of people to be very selfless along the way. When we’ve won, we’ve all won.

“When a team is fortunate enough to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, they get a trophy symbolic of that achievement. We’re not going to get that trophy this year, but when a coach is cited in this way it’s always when his team has had an outstanding season.

“This is our team trophy this year as opposed to the other one that a team can get. Probably seldom has the coach who was cited been elevated as high by the players and the staff as I have been.”

Picked to finish fourth in the ACC’s Coastal Division in the preseason, Groh guided the Cavaliers to a 9-3 regular-season mark, including a 6-2 league record. Virginia rebounded from a disappointing 23-3 loss to Wyoming in the season opener with a seven-game winning streak, the team’s longest in 17 years. The Cavaliers have won an NCAA FBS record five games by two points or fewer and their nine regular-season wins are the most since 1998.

Two CavaliersG Branden Albert and DE Chris Longwere named first-team All-ACC, while two othersTE Tom Santi and P Ryan Weigandwere named to the second-team announced yesterday. Tackle Eugene Monroe was an honorable mention selection.

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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