End of Season ACC Accolades - 2012 Belk Bowl Blitz : Edition 6

By Helen Sowell

As the 2012 ACC season draws to a close, it’s time to recognize some of the outstanding performers in the league. And two will be in Charlotte on Dec. 27th.

Leading Duke to the Belk Bowl earned David Cutcliffe the Atlantic Coast Conference's coach of the year honors. 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.

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.

In addition, Duke senior quarterback Sean Renfree was named the recipient of the 2012 Jim Tatum Award, given annually in memory of the late Jim Tatum to the top senior student-athlete (in athletic eligibility) among the league's football players. Tatum, a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, coached in the fifties at both Maryland and North Carolina and believed strongly in the concept of the student-athlete.

A three-year starter and two-year team captain, Renfree received recognition for his off-field accomplishments this season by being named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and the recipient of the Pop Warner National College Football Award. In addition, he was named to the AFCA’s Good Works Team and is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.

Renfree graduated from Duke in December of 2011 with a degree in public policy with a 3.4 grade point average and is now working on a graduate degree in humanities with a 3.8 GPA. He was named to the All-ACC Academic Team in 2010 and 2011.

One of the most accurate passers in the history of the ACC, Renfree ranks third in the league a with a .663 completion percentage (260 of 392) this season. That mark is on pace to set a school record, potentially breaking his own standard of .650 set in 2011. He holds or shares 14 school records and is tops on Duke's career completion percentage list as well, posting a mark of .643. He also ranks among Duke's all-time top five in pass completions (2nd; 861), passing touchdowns (5th; 50), passing efficiency (2nd; 127.98), passing yards (4th; 9,107) and 300-yard passing games (tied for 2nd; 10).

On the ACC’s all-time charts, Renfree ranks fourth in pass completions, sixth in pass completion percentage, tied for seventh in 300-yard passing games and 9th in passing yardage. He becomes the fourth Blue Devil to be honored with the Tatum Award joining Scott Hamilton (1979), Chris Douglas (2003) and Brendan Dewan (2005).