Dec. 16, 2014. Former App State grad and Newland High School football assistant (’79-80), Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson, a Newland native, has been named the 2014 ACC Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
It is the third time Johnson has been named ACC Coach of the Year (2008, 2009). He was the first coach in ACC history to be named Coach of the Year in each of his first two seasons.
Johnson is one of four Georgia Tech coaches to be named ACC Coach of the Year – Bill Curry (1985), Bobby Ross (1990), George O’Leary (2000) – and is the only one to win the award multiple times.
“I accept this award on behalf of our football program – assistant coaches, players, staff, and everyone involved,” Johnson said. “As everyone knows, this is not a one-person award. I appreciate the honor.”
In his seventh season on the Flats, Johnson led the Yellow Jackets to the ninth 10-win season in program history and just the fourth in the ACC era. Georgia Tech will make its fourth ACC Championship Game appearance – and its third in the last six years – Saturday against No. 2 Florida State. With its 2014 Coastal Division crown, it is the fourth time in seven seasons that Tech has finished first or tied for first in the division under Johnson.
Georgia Tech (10-2) extended its winning streak to five games with a heart-pounding 30-24 overtime road win over in-state rival Georgia, improving Johnson’s record to 2-2 vs. the Bulldogs in Athens. The Yellow Jackets now lead the ACC in 15 major categories, while leading the FBS in third-down conversion percentage (57.4) and blocked kicks (6). The Jackets also rank in the top five of nine different categories in the FBS.
Following the announcement, Georgia Tech and Johnson agreed in principle to a four-year contract extension through the 2020 season, Director of Athletics Mike Bobinski announced last week. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Johnson’s current contract was set to expire following the 2016 season.
“I’m pleased to announce an extension of Paul Johnson’s contract,” Bobinski said. “This extension reflects our confidence in the solid foundation Coach Johnson has built for the future success of our program, which reaches beyond the field and includes increasingly strong academic achievement.
“I look forward to Paul Johnson’s continued leadership of our football program and am excited about the possibilities in the years ahead.”
Johnson is 58-34 in seven seasons as Georgia Tech head coach and has led the Yellow Jackets to their third ACC Championship Game appearance in seven seasons. Earlier this week, Johnson was named the 2014 ACC Coach of the Year – his third ACC COY honor as Tech head coach (2008, 2009).
“I am excited that we were able to work out a contract extension,” Johnson said. “I appreciate the support of our fans, students and alumni during my time here. My family and I are looking forward to being a part of Georgia Tech for a long time.”
No. 12 Georgia Tech will vie for the program’s 17th conference title Saturday against No. 2 Florida State in the 2014 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on ABC in Charlotte.