2001 Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year

Coach Ralph Friedgen, National Coach of the Year. He has won nearly every Coach of the Year award there is, but, "This one," he said, "is the one I wanted to win most of all." Who would of ever thought, a year ago, Friedgen a long-time assistant of thirty two years, most recently with Georgia Tech took his first head coaching job at his Alma Mater.

Not that there was much expectations in the near future for the coach at Maryland, Maryland had been struggling towards the middle of the ACC for years and hadn't enjoyed any magical season since the middle '80s behind head coach Bobby Ross.

Step in Ralph Friedgen and here come's the Terps. Can you say Orange Bowl vs Florida. Granted it was a large task to take on a powerhouse drive Florida team headed by legendary coach Steve Spurrier but the coach and his Terps made Maryland faithful proud.

Looking back on the past year Friedgen has brought Maryland back to the national college football scene. Suddenly Maryland is the place to be in the ACC with a ACC Champion football team and a 23-3 Gary Williams lead basketball team ready to take on their first regular ACC conference championship away from Duke, 5 straight is enough for anyone. Not to mention off their first ever Final Four birth in school history.

Friedgen told reporters the Dodd award - one of 12 national coach of the year honors he won in 2001 - was the most meaningful of all.

More on Ralph Friedgen, the 2001 Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year here, Furman Bisher's column in Tuesday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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