GREENSBORO, N.C. – Virginia Tech senior wide receiver Danny Coale has been named the recipient of the 2011 James Tatum Award, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Thursday.
The Tatum Award is 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.
The Award will be presented at the ACC’s Night of Legends event which will be held Friday (6 pm) at the Charlotte Convention Center as part of the festivities held around the Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship Game.
Coale, a native of Lexington, Va., ranks second at Virginia Tech in career pass receptions (155) and pass receiving yardage (2,530). His receiving yards are the 19th-best career total in ACC history. He leads Tech and is 9th in the ACC in reception yardage this season with 776 yards and a 15.5 per-catch average.
He becomes the first Virginia Tech football player to be honored with the Tatum Award.
Coale graduated from Virginia 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 running down the field wide open more than anybody I can remember,” said Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer. “It’s amazing. I think it is a credit to his effort, a credit to his instincts and a credit to his ability to find the open area. And for as good a player as he is, he is an even better person.
“He is the perfect example of what you are looking for. 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.”
Named to the 2010 All-ACC Academic Football Team, Coale was also selected at Virginia Tech to be a member of the SEED (Student Endowment for Educational Development) program, a stock analysis for the technology sector through the department of Finance. SEED is a student organization that manages an equity portfolio manager for the Virginia Tech Foundation and currently manages 4.3 million dollars, making it the largest student-run investment portfolio.
On the playing field, Coale has averaged 16.3 yards per catch on his 155 receptions, which is the fourth best currently by any ACC active player. Coale’s 52 career starts are the most of any active ACC player and he has caught at least two passes in 43 of 53 games and at least one pass in 49 of 53 games. He has started 52 of his 53 games at Tech, including the last 36 in a row. He recorded a career-best 143 receiving yards against Florida State in the 2010 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, helping lead the Hokies to their fourth ACC title in seven years in the league.
This award is the latest in a big week for the Hokies, who will play for the ACC title Saturday night against Clemson. On Sunday, senior tackle Blake DeChristopher earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy and David Wilson was named the ACC Player of the Year on Wednesday.
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