Luke Kuechly, a two-time consensus All-American*, is one of the most decorated defenders in the history of the ACC. The 2011 Bronko Nagurski, Lott IMPACT, Dick Butkus, Lombardi Award and ACC Defensive Player of the Year winner added yet another individual accolade to the trophy case on Wednesday, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference's Anthony J. McKevlin Award as the premier male athlete in the conference.
The award is given annually to the conference's finest male athlete and is voted upon by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Duke fencer Becca Ward, a three-time All-American, earned this year's Mary Garber Award, the top honor on the women's side.
The awards are given in memory of distinguished journalists from the region. McKevlin was a sports editor in Raleigh, N.C., and Garber, of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, was a pioneer as one of the first female sports journalists in the country.
Kuechly is the fifth college football defender to win the award, but first to play on only one side of the ball and in one sport. N.C. State's Philip Rivers was the last college football player to win the award in 2004. Kuechly also becomes the first Boston College Eagle to win the either the McKevlin or Garber Awards.
The other nominees for this year's McKevlin Award included Clemson's Dwayne Allen (football), North Carolina's Tyler Zeller (basketball) and Virginia's Steele Stanwick.
* should have been three years. The AFCA clearly knows nothing.