ACC honors Duke's Cutcliffe, Miami RB Johnson

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 27, 2012
Duke's David Cutcliffe is the Atlantic Coast Conference's coach of the year and Miami running back Duke Johnson is its overall rookie of the year. The league announced its coaching and rookie honorees Tuesday. Johnson also was named the top offensive rookie following a vote of 46 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association while Florida State cornerback Ronald Darby won the defensive rookie of the year. Cutcliffe received 25 votes, while Clemson's Dabo Swinney had seven and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher received five. Cutcliffe, the Southeastern Conference's coach of the year in 2003 at Mississippi, led the Blue Devils to a 6-6 record and their first bowl berth since 1994. Johnson received 34 votes for the overall award to 11 for Maryland's Stephon Diggs. Johnson also had 35 votes and Diggs had 10 for the offensive rookie of the year award. Darby received 14 votes for the defensive award to nine for Miami safety Deon Bush and eight for Georgia Tech linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days. Johnson became the first Miami player to win the rookie award following a breakout season in which he broke Clinton Portis' 13-year-old school rushing record for freshmen, ending the year with 947 yards. He also led the ACC by averaging 33 yards per kickoff return, and his 2,070 all-purpose yards are the most by a Hurricanes freshman and second only to Willis McGahee's 2,108 in school history. The Hurricanes finished 7-5, were 5-3 in the league to share the Coastal Division title, but a self-imposed postseason ban sends Georgia Tech to the ACC championship game this weekend in Charlotte. ''It means a lot being the first in Miami history to win this award,'' Johnson said. ''And it means so much to me and the team because I couldn't do it without my teammates. And this is just another way to make my mom proud and show how I really appreciate the sacrifices she made for me when I was younger.'' Cutcliffe became the fourth Duke coach to win the award and first since Fred Goldsmith in 1994. He is 21-39 in five seasons and his team had a three-game improvement over its 3-9 finish in 2011. ''This honor is both humbling and rewarding because of the quality of the coaches in our conference,'' Cutcliffe said.
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