Temple defensive lineman Dan Klecko earned Defensive Player of the Year, while Andy Lee of Pittsburgh and Nate Jones of Rutgers shared the Special Teams Player of the Year award. Panther standout Larry Fitzgerald garnered BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, while UM head coach Larry Coker earned Coach of the Year honors.
It is just the second time in NCAA history that two players from the same
school have shared any major conference award (Big Ten Offensive Player of
the Year: Nick Bell & Matt Rodgers, Iowa, 1990). It also marks the first
defensive and special teams major award winners for Pittsburgh, Rutgers and
Temple. The All-BIG EAST First and Second Teams were also announced. All
selections are made by the league's head coaches, who are not permitted to
vote for their own players.
Dorsey is the second Hurricane quarterback (Gino Torretta, 1991-92) to earn
Offensive Player of the Year honors in consecutive seasons. The senior led
the BIG EAST in passing (256.1 ypg), total offense (254.4) and pass
efficiency (148.0 rating). The pass efficiency rating ranked eighth
nationally, as he threw for 300 yards or more in a game five times this
season. Dorsey is 38-1 in three years as the UM starter.
McGahee leads the BIG EAST and is fourth in the nation in rushing with 140.5
yards per game. The sophomore tailback scored a school-record 27 touchdowns,
including at least one in each of the last 10 contests. He surpassed the
100-yard plateau in 10 games, including each of his last six outings.
McGahee averaged 13.5 points, second in the country. He was also No. 4 in
the NCAA rankings (first in the BIG EAST) in all-purpose yards with a
Klecko is the first Temple player to win a major league award. The senior
defensive lineman led the BIG EAST in sacks (10.0) and tackles for loss
(22.5). He had 2.05 stops for loss per game, an average that is fourth
nationally. He finished with 68 tackles, including 46 solo. Klecko is also a
unanimous pick on the first team for the second straight year, just the
eighth player (along with Dorsey) in BIG EAST history to be a unanimous
choice more than once.
Lee led the BIG EAST in punting with 43.3 yards per kick. The junior had the
best average for a conference-leader since 1997 (Jimmy Kibble, VT, 45.1). He
punted 66 times, with 15 for 50 or more yards. Thirteen of his kicks were
inside the 20-yard line, with 11 touchbacks and four fair catches. Lee had
the longest punt in the league this year, a 73-yarder against Texas A&M on
Sept. 7. It was the eighth-longest in BIG EAST history. He is the second BIG
EAST punter (Todd Sauerbrun, WVU, 1994) to earn this award.
Jones was first in the conference in kickoff returns with a 28.3-yard
average, a mark that is sixth nationally. The junior had two 100-yard
kickoff returns for touchdowns, accomplishing the feat against Tennessee and
Syracuse. He is only the second player in BIG EAST history to have two
100-yard returns for scores in the same year (Nate Terry, WVU, 1997). Jones
also finished third on the team with 84 tackles on defense. He was also a
Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team selection.
Fitzgerald burst onto the conference landscape, finishing first among
wideouts with 11 touchdowns. The freshman had 64 receptions for 917 yards,
ranking first in the league with 5.33 catches per game. The 11 receiving
scores was tied for second on the BIG EAST single-season list, as he had
four 100-yard games in 2002. Fitzgerald was also a unanimous pick on the
All-BIG EAST first team, the first true freshman in league history to
accomplish the feat.
Coker guided Miami to its seventh BIG EAST title and the nation's No. 1
national ranking with an 12-0 record. It was the second straight undefeated
regular season for the Hurricanes. UM also finished 7-0 in conference play,
the fourth time since round-robin play began in 1993 it has gone unbeaten.
The 'Canes are in the top 10 in the nation in six different statistical
The All-BIG EAST selections boasted seven repeat first team choices. Five
players moved up from second to first team, with BC's Dan Koppen the lone
repeat honoree on the second team. Five players were unanimous picks on the
first squad - Dorsey, McGahee, Fitzgerald, Klecko and Miami's Jonathan
Vilma. The Hurricanes led the way with 13 players on the first team.
2002 BIG EAST FOOTBALL AWARDS
BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
KEN DORSEY, MIAMI, QB, Senior, 6-5, 200, Orinda, Calif./Miramonte
WILLIS McGAHEE, MIAMI, RB, Sophomore, 6-1, 224, Miami, Fla./Central
BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
DAN KLECKO, TEMPLE, DL, Senior, 6-1, 276, Colts Neck, N.J./Marlboro
BIG EAST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
ANDY LEE, PITTSBURGH, P, Junior, 6-2, 205, Westminster, S.C./West-Oak
NATE JONES, RUTGERS, KR, 5-10, 175, Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood
BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
LARRY FITZGERALD, PITTSBURGH, WR, 6-3, 210, Minneapolis, Minn./Acad. of the
Holy Angels/Valley Forge M.A.
BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR
LARRY COKER, MIAMI, 24-0 (1.000) - Second Season
Alma Mater: Northeastern Oklahoma State (1970); Hometown: Okemah, Okla.
2002 ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/High School/Junior College
WR Andre Johnson Miami 6-3 227 Jr. Miami, Fla./Miami Senior
WR Larry Fitzgerald** Pittsburgh 6-3 210 Fr. Minneapolis, Minn./Acd. of Holy
OT Lance Nimmo West Virginia 6-6 287 Sr. New Castle, Pa./Laurel
OG Bryan Anderson Pittsburgh 6-5 310 Sr. Philadelphia, Pa./John Bartram
C Brett Romberg Miami 6-3 290 Sr. Windsor, Ontario, Canada/Belle River
OG Sherko Haji-Rasouli Miami 6-6 318 Sr. Toronto, Ontario, Canada/J.A.
OT Mark Parenteau Boston College 6-5 292 Sr. Pompano Beach, Fla./Cardinal
TE Kellen Winslow Miami 6-5 233 So. San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch
QB Ken Dorsey** Miami 6-5 200 Sr. Orinda, Calif./Miramonte
RB Willis McGahee** Miami 6-1 224 So. Miami, Fla./Central
RB Avon Cobourne West Virginia 5-9 190 Sr. Cherry Hill, N.J./Holy Cross
PK Todd Sievers Miami 6-3 214 Sr. Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny
KR/PR Nate Jones Rutgers 5-10 175 Jr. Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch
DL William Joseph Miami 6-5 297 Sr. Miami, Fla./Edison
DL Jerome McDougle Miami 6-4 271 Sr. Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely/Hinds CC
DL Claude Harriott Pittsburgh 6-4 245 Jr. Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central
DL Dan Klecko** Temple 6-1 276 Sr. Colts Neck, N.J./Marlboro
LB Jonathan Vilma** Miami 6-2 220 Jr. Coral Gables, Fla./Coral Gables
LB Gerald Hayes Pittsburgh 6-3 245 Sr. Paterson, N.J./Passaic County Tech
LB Grant Wiley West Virginia 6-1 230 Jr. Trappe, Pa./Perkiomen Valley
CB Antrel Rolle Miami 6-1 189 So. Homestead, Fla./South Dade
CB Torrie Cox** Pittsburgh 5-10 185 Sr. Miami, Fla./Miami Northwestern
S Maurice Sikes Miami 5-11 193 Jr. Miami, Fla./Monsignor Edward Pace
S Sean Taylor Miami 6-3 220 So. Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep
P Andy Lee Pittsburgh 6-2 205 Jr. Westminster, S.C./West-Oak
2002 ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown/High School/Junior College
WR Jamel Riddle Syracuse 5-7 173 Jr. Meriden, Conn./Platt
WR David Tyree Syracuse 6-2 198 Sr. Montclair, N.J./Montclair
WR Ernest Wilford Virginia Tech 6-4 216 Jr. Richmond, Va./Armstrong/Franklin
OT Rob Petitti Pittsburgh 6-6 330 So. Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven
OG Anthony Davis Virginia Tech 6-4 320 Sr. Victoria, Va./Central-Lunenburg
C Dan Koppen Boston College 6-3 304 Sr. Apex, N.C./Whitehall (Pa.)
OG Ken Sandor West Virginia 6-4 300 Sr. Roebling, N.J./Holy Cross
OT Carlos Joseph Miami 6-6 334 So. Miami, Fla./Edison
TE Sean Ryan Boston College 6-5 250 Jr. Buffalo, N.Y./St. Joseph
QB Rod Rutherford Pittsburgh 6-3 215 Jr. Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry Traditional
RB Derrick Knight Boston College 5-9 205 Jr. Westwood, Mass./Xaverian
RB Lee Suggs Virginia Tech 6-0 201 Sr. Roanoke, Va./William Fleming
PK Sandro Sciortino Boston College 5-10 201 Jr. Markham, Ontario, Canada/Brother Andre CHS
PK Cap Poklemba Temple 5-11 180 Sr. Westminster, Md./McDonogh
KR/PR Jamel Riddle Syracuse 5-7 173 Jr. Meriden, Conn./Platt
KR/PR DeAngelo Hall Virginia Tech 5-11 200 So. Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek
DL Jamaal Green Miami 6-3 261 Sr. Camden, N.J./Wilson
DL Louis Gachelin Syracuse 6-2 284 Jr. Miami, Fla./Miami Jackson
DL Nathaniel Adibi Virginia Tech 6-3 254 Jr. Hampton, Va./Phoebus
DL David Upchurch West Virginia 6-3 280 Sr. Hyattsville, Md./Eleanor
LB D.J. Williams Miami 6-2 247 Jr. Concord, Calif./De La Salle
LB Clifton Smith Syracuse 6-3 251 Sr. Freeport, N.Y./Freeport
LB James Davis West Virginia 6-2 230 Sr. Stuart, Fla./Martin County
CB Shawn Seabrooks Rutgers 5-10 190 Sr. Paterson, N.J./Paterson Eastside
CB DeAngelo Hall Virginia Tech 5-11 200 So. Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek
S Willie Pile Virginia Tech 6-3 205 Sr. Alexandria, Va./West Potomac
S Angel Estrada West Virginia 6-1 200 Sr. Bronx, N.Y./Nassau CC
P Vinnie Burns Virginia Tech 5-11 190 So. New Orleans, La./St. Augustine
** - unanimous selection
Ties in the voting created additional positions for Offensive Player of the
Year, Special Teams Player of the Year and second team wide receiver,
placekicker and kick returner.
Miami Dominates Big East Awards
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