Hill Named ACC Male Athlete of the Year

GREENSBORO, N.C. – NC State golfer Matt Hill, the 2009 NCAA Individual champion, has been named the 2008-09 Atlantic Coast Conference Male Athlete of the Year. Hill 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.

Hill is the first golfer ever to receive the McKevlin Award. He also becomes only the seventh student-athlete from NC State to be named the ACC's Athlete of the Year. Dick Christy (football) won the Pack's first award in 1957, followed by Lou Pucillo (men's basketball) in 1959 and Roman Gabriel (football) in 1960. David Thompson (men's basketball) won the award in both 1973 and 1975, and Julie Shea (women's track) was also a two-time winner in 1980 and 1981. Philip Rivers (football) was the last NC State athlete to win the award when he did so following his senior season in 2004.

"I feel very honored to win this award, and am very proud to be the first golfer to be named ACC Athlete of the Year," Hill said. "I am very thankful for all of the support and resources that N.C. State has provided me with as well as the coaching from Richard Sykes and Chip Watson.

"I have worked very hard to try to accomplish all of my goals at the start of last year, but never really thought I was capable of achieving an honor this big."

A rising junior from Brights Grove, Ontario, Hill won eight tournaments this past year, easily eclipsing the previous ACC record of five. In addition to becoming the Wolfpack's first NCAA golf champion, he is just the second golfer in NCAA history to win conference, regional and national titles in the same year. The other was Tiger Woods in 1996. His 70.1 stroke average was the best in the country and helped him achieve consensus national player of the year honors.

"The best way I can describe the season Matt had is just magical and this award certainly adds to it," said NC State head coach Richard Sykes. "There have been so many great golfers that have come through the ACC, and to think Matt is the first one honored as the Athlete of the Year is truly special."

The award was determined in voting by 49 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association from a group of 12 nominees, one from each school. Hill received 20 votes as the McKevlin Award winner. Florida State football player Myron Rolle, who earned All-America honors as a defensive back, was second in the balloting with nine votes.

"Everybody at NC State wants to congratulate Matt on a great season," said NC State Athletics Director Lee Fowler. "Matt has accomplished something that only six previous NC State athletes have, and he also becomes the first ACC golfer ever honored with this prestigious award. We really appreciate his commitment to being a true student-athlete, and we are all looking forward to watching him continue to progress over the next two years."

Hill has had a busy summer, playing in his first two PGA Tour events. Hill received a sponsors exemption and was the only amateur to compete in the AT&T National presented by Tiger Woods in early July. Hill made the cut in his first professional tournament, after he used three straight birdies on the back-nine in the second round to finish one-under (69) for that day. Just this past weekend, Hill competed in the RBC Canadian Open held in Oakville, Ontario. He shot a two-under (70) in the first round, but finished at one-over (143) and missed the cut.

Hill will be competing in his third PGA Tour event this weekend, playing in the Buick Open at Grand Blanc, Michigan.

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