GREENSBORO, Ga. - North Carolina basketball player Tyler Hansbrough and Virginia Tech softball pitcher Angela Tincher, two individuals who earned national player-of-the-year honors while leading their teams to ACC championships and strong contention for national titles, are the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year.
Both honors were announced here today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford after voting by 67 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
Hansbrough receives the "Anthony J. McKevlin Award" as the league's top male performer. That award, named in honor of the former sports editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, has been presented since the formation of the ACC in 1954.
Tincher is recipient of the "Mary Garber Award," named for the former Winston-Salem Journal reporter and a pioneer for women in the field of sports journalism. That award was established in 1990 to honor the league's top female athlete.
"My four years in the ACC were more than I could ever have asked for and to be recognized by such a great conference is a honor for me," Tincher said. "To be the first student-athlete to win this award from Virginia Tech means a lot to me since I've had such a wonderful experience there. We've only been in the league four years but I'm excited about the future of the Hokies in the ACC."
The Eagle Rock, Va., native finished first in balloting among an extremely strong field of women nominees that included national golfer of the year Amanda Blumenhurst of Duke, the Garber Award runner up with 13 votes, and North Carolina's Rachel Dawson, who earned national player of the year accolades in field hockey while leading the Tar Heels to an undefeated season and NCAA championship. She received 11 votes.
Tincher, the USA Softball National Player of the Year and Honda Award recipient as the top player in her sport, led the Hokies to their first Women's College World Series appearance while ranking first nationally in both strikeouts and earned run average. She was also named the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American of the Year in softball, graduating with a 3.84 grade point average in finance.
Hansbrough is the 10th Tar Heel basketball player to receive the McKevlin Award, while Tincher is the first softball player ever honored with the Garber Award and the first Virginia Tech athlete to gain either of the ACC's premier individual awards.
The consensus national player-of-the-year, Hansbrough also earned ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP and NCAA Regional MVP honors (only the fourth individual in ACC history to receive all four honors in the same season). He averaged 22.6 points per game, the most by a Tar Heel since 1970, and led the ACC with a 10.2 rebounds per game average as UNC advanced to the Final Four.
Hansbrough received 28 votes as the McKevlin Award winner. NCAA champion tennis player Somdev Devvarman of Virginia was second with 20 votes, while Florida State's Buster Posey, the national player of the year in baseball, was named on 12 ballots.
All 12 ACC institutions made nominations for both awards and the nominees represented 16 different sports (9 men, 7 women). Nineteen of the 24 nominees (10 men, 9 women) received All-America honors in 2007-08 and eight nominees were named National Player of the Year in their sport.
Tincher is currently pitching professionally in the NPF for the Akron Racers. She is 9-4 with a 1.69 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 75.1 innings pitched. She is second in the league in victories, strikeouts and ERA.
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