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Jan
13
2018

Giving 2017 year-end final grades to the ACC Coastal Division football coaches.

Before we completely close the door on the 2017 football season, let’s hand out some grades for the ACC coaching efforts for the past season.

Atlantic Division Coaching Grades

Miami – Mark Richt : A

Mark Richt made Miami relevant again. The Canes followed up a 9 win season with a 10 win one. They won the Coastal Division for the first time and reached the Orange Bowl. The 3 game losing streak to end the season kept Richt from an A+, but it was a very encouraging season for Miami and Richt. The Canes continue to trend in the right direction.

Virginia Tech – Justin Fuente : A-

In a year that some thought would be a rebuilding one for Virginia Tech, Justin Fuente still led the Hokies to a 9 win season, and 2nd place Coastal Division finish. It doesn’t appear the Hokies will be backing up anytime soon under Fuente.

Duke – David Cutcliffe : B

What a strange up and down season for David Cutcliffe and Duke. There was a 4-0 start, then 6 straight losses, and finally 3 straight wins. At one point 4-6, and looking at a C or worse, Cutcliffe decided he didn’t want such a low grade from our blog. Duke played some of their best football of the year to finish the season. They ended up 7-6 with a blowout bowl win and that earns Cutcliffe a B.

Virginia – Bronco Mendenhall : B

Bronco Mendenhall brought a sense of optimism to the Cavalier football program for the first time in several years. Mendenhall had an A at the mid-term, but the finish brought the final grade back down, as the Hoos lost 6 of their last 7 games. That said many didn’t even think Virginia could reach a bowl game this year, and Mendenhall got Virginia to their first bowl game since 2011.

Pittsburgh – Pat Narduzzi : C

Narduzzi just never pushed the right buttons with his Pitt team in 2017. They started the year 2-5 and never recovered. The defense struggled all year long. and Pitt was UNC’s only ACC win. With no chance a bowl, Pitt did pull a monster upset the season’s final game against Miami and that gave Narduzzi a few final bonus points.

Georgia Tech – Paul Johnson : C

Georgia Tech couldn’t build on a 9 win 2016, and the 2017 team was noted for multiple late defensive collapses. While Johnson was not directly responsible for the defense, the team’s final results ultimately are his. The Yellow Jackets lost 4 of their 5 final games, didn’t make a bowl, and the season turned into a completely forgettable one.

North Carolina – Larry Fedora : C-

It’s not often a 3-9 season will get you a passing grade, but we know what happened at UNC. This was team that was riddled with injuries, but Fedora nearly had his team pull an upset of Miami, then they even won a couple of games in a row. Yes the Heels were bad. Fedora deserves a low grade, but it could have been worse.

 

 

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