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December 15, 2011

News and Notes

By: Jimmy Robertson

Wilson named ACC Player of the Year

Tech tailback David Wilson became the second player in as many years to be named the ACC’s Player of the Year, according to the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, a group of media members who cover ACC schools.

Wilson, who received 18 of 45 votes, became the third Tech player to win the award. Former quarterback Tyrod Taylor won it last year, while former quarterback Bryan Randall won it in 2004.

Wilson, a junior from Danville, Va., who has rushed for 1,627 yards and nine touchdowns this season, needs just 29 yards rushing in the bowl game to break the school’s single-season rushing record of 1,655 yards set by Ryan Williams in 2009. He rushed for at least 100 yards in 10 games, tying Williams’ school and ACC mark.

“I want to thank all of my teammates and all of my coaches for sticking with me and helping me to achieve this award,” Wilson said. “This award means a lot because any player who wins it definitely worked hard for it because it’s not something that you can just stumble upon. You have to put a lot of hard work into it. But you also can’t do it by yourself.”

Wilson and offensive lineman Blake DeChristopher were Tech’s only first-team All-ACC members. DeChristopher won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which goes to the ACC’s top lineman. He became the first Tech player to win the award after a season in which he graded better than 90 percent for the year and recorded more than 120 knockdowns.

The Tech contingent on the second team included quarterback Logan Thomas, cornerback Kyle Fuller, guard Jaymes Brooks, free safety Eddie Whitley, defensive end James Gayle, and cornerback Jayron Hosley.

Five other Hokies received honorable mention recognition: defensive end J.R. Collins, kicker Cody Journell, rover Antone Exum, guard Greg Nosal and mike linebacker Bruce Taylor.

For a complete list of the All-ACC teams, please check the ACC website at

Coale wins Tatum Award

Tech receiver Danny Coale received the 2011 Jim Tatum Award, which goes annually to the top senior scholar athlete among the ACC’s football players. Tatum, a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, coached in the 1950s at both Maryland and North Carolina and believed strongly in the concept of the student-athlete.

Coale, a native of Lexington, Va., ranks second at Tech in career pass receptions (157) and pass receiving yardage (2,541 yards). He graduated from Tech in the fall of 2010 with a degree in finance with a 3.3 grade-point average and is now working on a second undergraduate degree in marketing management. He was an Academic All-America All-District selection this year.

“Danny is the perfect example of what you are looking for,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “He gives you all he’s got on the field, he has great character and he excels academically. He is just a well-rounded student-athlete. He has meant a great deal to this program.”â�¨

Valentine to headline “Baseball Night in Blacksburg”

Former Major League Baseball player and recently named Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will be the featured speaker for the Virginia Tech baseball program’s fifth annual “Baseball Night in Blacksburg” to be held Feb. 3 in the west side stadium club of Lane Stadium.

Tickets cost $75 per person ($35 for kids 13 and under) and can be purchased by calling the Virginia Tech baseball office at (540) 231-3671. Space is limited.

In addition to an address by Valentine, the event will also include a dinner, silent and live auctions for various professional sports and Virginia Tech items, and a chance to meet the entire 2012 Virginia Tech baseball team.

For those interested in a more intimate experience, a private, open-bar reception with Valentine and other notable figures will be held from 5-6 p.m. prior to the public portion of the evening. Access to the private reception can be gained by purchasing a ticket for $200. A Home Run Package of eight tickets can be purchased for $1,500.

Valentine played 10 seasons in the majors and then began his coaching career with the Texas Rangers in 1985 and won 581 games in eight years. He later managed the New York Mets for seven years and 536 wins, which included winning the National League pennant in 2000. After coaching in Japan for several seasons, he returned to the U.S. and became a baseball analyst with ESPN.

All proceeds of the banquet will go to Virginia Tech baseball and the Hokies’ efforts to improve various aspects of their program.