Consistency. It’s the mark of true excellence in any endeavor. However, in today’s intercollegiate athletics, competition has become so balanced and so competitive that it is virtually impossible to maintain a high level of consistency.
Yet the Atlantic Coast Conference has defied the odds. Now in its 45th year of competition, the ACC has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. And that is not mere conjecture, the numbers support it.
Since the league’s inception in 1953, ACC schools have captured 59 NCAA and AIAW championships, including 28 in men’s competition and 32 in women’s. In addition, 100 men and 24 women have earned the coveted title of NCAA champion.
The ACC has placed at least four teams into the NCAA Baseball Tournament six years in a row and seven of the past eight seasons. Over the past four years the ACC is 52-34 (.553) in NCAA Tourney play with six College World Series participants.
In 1997, the ACC posted a 212-82 (.721) mark against non-conference foes, marking the sixth straight season league teams have won more than 70 percent of their games against outside competition. Since 1990, the ACC is 1726-646-11 (.727) in non-league play.
Over the past couple of years, the ACC has increasingly gained national recognition for the talent level of its players. Over the past four seasons, an NCAA record 15 players from the ACC have been selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. Included were two number one overall picks : Florida State’s Paul Wilson in 1994 and Clemson’s Kris Benson in 1996. FSU’s J.D. Drew was the second overall pick of the 1997 draft.
The ACC also stands at the forefront of intercollegiate athletics in terms of academic accomplishments of its student-athletes. Since 1983, 201 women’s basketball players have received ACC Academic Honor Roll recognition. The 1996-97 academic year included 43 selections. In addition ACC basketball players have earned first-team Academic All-America honors six times.
1997 In Review
The 1996-97 academic year concluded with the league pocketing three more national team titles and four individual NCAA crowns. In all, the ACC has won 26 national team crowns in the last seven years.
The ACC’s 1996-97 national champions were North Carolina in women’s soccer and field hockey and Maryland in women’s lacrosse. In addition the ACC had two other teams participate in national title games : Florida State in football and Maryland in men’s lacrosse. Overall, the ACC posted a 54-48 (.529) mark in NCAA Tournament play.
The ACC placed at least one team in the Top 10 nationally in 16 of the 24 sports sponsored by the league. Other records of note during the 1996-97 season include 84 teams competing at NCAA Championships, four bowl teams and 33 Top 10 showings.
Seven ACC teams, in six different sports representing five of the nine member institutions, earned a No. 1 ranking during the course of the past academic year.
The ACC Academic Honor Roll record was broken for the 11th-straight year in 1995-96 as 1,410 student-athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom.
With the addition of women’s lacrosse, the ACC conducted championship competition in 24 sports during the 1996-97 academic year : 12 for men and 12 for women.
The first ACC championship was held in swimming on February 25, 1954. The conference did not conduct championships in cross country, wrestling or tennis during the first year.
The 12 sports for men include football, cross country, soccer, basketball, swimming, indoor and outdoor track, wrestling, baseball, tennis, golf and lacrosse. Fencing, which was started in 1971, was discontinued in 1981.
Women’s sports were initiated in 1977 with the first championship meet being held in tennis at Wake Forest University, October 6-8. Conference championships for women are currently conducted in cross country, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, basketball, swimming, indoor and outdoor track, tennis, golf, lacrosse and softball.
The Atlantic Coast Conference was founded on May 8, 1953, at the Sedgefield Inn near Greensboro, N.C., with seven charter members : Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest : drawing up the conference by-laws.
The withdrawal of seven schools from the Southern Conference came early on the morning of May 8, 1953, during the Southern Conference’s annual spring meeting. On June 14, 1953, the seven members met in Raleigh, N.C., where a set of bylaws was adopted and the name become officially the Atlantic Coast Conference.
On December 4, 1953, conference officials met again at Sedgefield and officially admitted the University of Virginia. The only withdrawal of a school from the ACC came on June 30, 1971 when the University of South Carolina tendered its resignation.
The conference operated with seven members until April 3, 1978, when Georgia Tech was admitted. The Atlanta school had withdrew from the Southeastern Conference in January of 1964.
The ACC expanded to nine members on July 1, 1991, with the addition of Florida State.
Florida State All-ACC Selections
1992 1st Team Chris Roberts, P 2nd Team Roger Bailey, P; Ty Mueller, CF
1993 2nd Team Paul Wilson, P; Mike Schmitz, DH Rookie of the Year Jonathan Johnson, P
1994 1st Team Paul Wilson, P; Mickey Lopez, 2B 2nd Team Link Jarrett, SS; Jonathan Johnson, P; Mike Martin, Jr., C; Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
1995 1st Team Jonathan Johnson, P 2nd Team Mickey Lopez, 2B; Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B; Phil Olson, P; David Yocum, P
1996 1st Team Brooks Badeaux, SS; J.D. Drew, CF; Jeremy Morris, LF; Scott Zech, 2B 2nd Team Chuck Howell, RP Coach of the Year Mike Martin
1997 1st Team J.D. Drew, OF; Jeremy Morris, OF; Randy Choate, P 2nd Team Scott Zech, 2B; Geoff Sprague, 3B; Zach Diaz, RP Player of the Year J.D. Drew
ACC Players of the Week
1992 Chris Roberts, P (2); Roger Bailey, P; Nandy Serrano, 3B
1993 Paul Wilson, P (3); Mike Martin, Jr., P; John Wasdin, P
1994 Jonathan Johnson, P; Paul Wilson, P (3)
1995 Mike Bell, P; Charlie Cruz, P; Chuck Howell, P; Jonathan Johnson, P; Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B; David Yocum, P (2)
1996 Zach Diaz, P; J.D. Drew, CF (3); Scooby Morgan, P/DH; Jeremy Morris, LF (2)
1997 Randy Choate, P (2); J.D. Drew, OF (3); Jeremy Morris, OF (2); Randy Niles, P
1992 Chris Roberts, P
1993 Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
1994 Randy Hodges, RF; Paul Wilson, P; Scott Zech, LF
1995 Adam Faurot, DH; Jonathan Johnson, P;Mickey Lopez, 2B; Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B; Jeremy Morris, LF
1995 ACC Tournament MVP Jonathan Johnson, P
1996 Scooby Morgan, P/DH
1997 Chris Chavez, P; J.D. Drew, OF; Jeremy Morris, OF; Jeremy Salazar, C; Scott Zech, 2B
1997 ACC Tournament MVP Jeremy Morris, OF
Clemson Charter member of the SIAA in 1894, charter member of the SC in 1921, charter member of the ACC in 1953.
Duke Joined the SC in December, 1928; charter member of the ACC in 1953.
Florida State Charter member of the Dixie Conference in 1948, joined the Metro Conference in July, 1976; joined the ACC September 15, 1990.
Georgia Tech Charter member of the SIAA in 1894, charter member of SC in 1921, charter member of the SEC in 1932, joined the ACC in July, 1979.
Maryland Charter member of the SC in 1921, charter member of the ACC in 1953.
North Carolina Charter member of the SIAA in 1894, charter member of the SC in 1921, charter member of the ACC in 1953.
N.C. State Charter member of the SC in 1921, charter member of the ACC in 1953.
Virginia Charter member of the SIAA in 1894, charter member of the SC in 1921, resigned from SC in December 1936, joined the ACC in December, 1953.
Wake Forest Joined the SC in February, 1936, charter member of the ACC in 1953.