March 28, 2007
Greensboro, N.C. –
Florida State highlights the 2007 Atlantic Coast Conference swimming and diving awards list as the Seminoles notched three of the four individual superlatives, announced Wednesday by the league office. FSU freshman Terry Horner (Orlando, Fla.) was selected both ACC Diver and Freshman of the Year while Seminole head coach Neil Harper took ACC Coach of the Year honors.
Horner becomes the second student-athlete in ACC swimming and diving history to capture both ACC Freshman and Diver (or Swimmer) of the Year accolades. The Orlando, Fla., product capped off an impressive rookie campaign as the 2007 NCAA men’s 1-meter diving champion and garnered All-America status. He also received All-American recognition at the NCAA Championships, placing eighth in the 3-meter diving. Horner was an all-conference diver at this year’s ACC Championships, finishing runner-up in the 3-meter.
“It’s just awesome to receive this award,” said Horner. “Quite honestly it wouldn’t have been possible to do this without the support of all my coaches and teammates. I’m also thankful for the FSU administration that gave me the opportunity to come to school here. I really couldn’t be happier to get this award.”
Florida State’s Horner also becomes the first Seminole to win the ACC Diver of the Year award and the second Seminole to win the ACC Freshman of the Year award.
Florida State’s skipper Harper added another piece of coaching hardware to his collection as he was named ACC Coach of the Year by his peers. Harper, a two-time ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year, picked up his first men’s coaching honor after guiding the Seminoles to their first-ever ACC league crown in 2007. In 2006, he was named the Women’s Coach of the Year after leading the Women’s team to their first ACC title.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by your peers,” said Harper. “I look at this award basically as a reflection of our entire staff and the success of our program. I think it’s unfortunate that you can only award the head coach and not the rest of the coaching staff. I hope all of our swimmers and divers as well as the coaching staff see this as recognition of the success of the program.”
Under Harper’s helm this past year, there have been one national individual champion, three NCAA All-Americans, two individual and one relay NCAA honorable mention All-Americans, and 13 All-ACC performers. The Seminoles also earned eight ACC event titles and set nine new school records during the season.
Harper breaks the eight year reign of Virginia’s Mark Bernardino by receiving the ACC Coach of the Year award. Florida State has now earned three Coach of the Year honors since joining the ACC. Harper’s predecessor Don Gibb received the award in 1995 and 1998.
Virginia’s Pat Mellors was named ACC Swimmer of the Year to complete the conference award list.