University of Miami

Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt named ACC Coach of the Year

Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt works on the sidelines during the Virginia game at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017.
Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt works on the sidelines during the Virginia game at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The Miami Hurricanes won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division, but had only one player — kicker Michael Badgley — named to the All-ACC first team that was announced Monday.

The Hurricanes made up for that at least a bit Tuesday when football coach Mark Richt was named ACC Coach of the Year.

The panel of voters included 45 media members and the 14 coaches, with Richt getting 41 of those 59 votes.

Richt, 57, is the first Hurricanes coach to receive such an honor in the same season that he has led Miami (10-1, 7-1 ACC) to its first ACC Championship Game on Saturday against No. 1 Clemson (11-1, 7-1) at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was runner-up to Richt in the voting, with 10 votes. Boston College’s Steve Addazio got five votes, Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall got two and Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson got one.

The ACC released the news just minutes after Richt walked off from his weekly news conference.

He started the conference by naming the team captains and then saying that “I’m going to announce all the first-team All-ACC recipients.”

Then, this: “OK, we got Michael Badgley,” before an excruciatingly long pause as Richt perused the list of All-ACC recipients.

“That’s it,” he finally said, straight-faced.

The Miami Hurricanes are making their first appearance in the ACC Championship game against Clemson on Saturday. Coaches of both teams believe the winner gets into the College Football Playoff.

If Miami wins the ACC title game, it has a good shot of going to the four-team College Football Playoff.

Richt’s Canes finished 9-4 last season and won their first bowl game in 10 years.

This season, the Hurricanes were ranked as high as No. 2 and lost their first and only game at Pittsburgh in the last regular-season game last Saturday. Going into the Pitt game, the Canes had won a nation-leading 15 consecutive games. This is the first season since 2003 that UM has at least 10 wins.

Richt came to UM, his alma mater, last season from Georgia, where he spent 15 years as one of the top coaches in the nation. He has a 19-5 overall record at Miami, and has a 164-56 record in 17 years as a head coach. His .745 career winning percentage ranks as seventh best among current FBS coaches with at least five years of experience, according to UM.

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