Following a record season which included an ACC Championship and a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, Virginia wrestling head coach Steve Garland has been named the ACC Coach of the Year, as voted upon by the conference coaches and announced by the conference office Friday. Garland is the first Virginia wrestling coach to earn the honor, which the conference began awarding in 1986.
"This is a great honor, especially because it is voted on by my peers," Garland said. "Anytime you earn an honor like this which is determined by your coaching peers, it is humbling, especially since several have coached in this league for many years and coached against me when I was a student-athlete here. To earn this high of an honor is a great honor for me, my family and our school."
Garland, a former Virginia All-American who just completed his fourth season as the Cavaliers' head coach, led UVa to a 16-6 dual match record during the regular season and the second-most dual wins in a season at UVa. The Cavaliers were ranked nationally among the Top 25 for the entire season while earning a program-best ranking of No. 16 at one point.
As it has done in recent years, Virginia peaked in postseason play. Virginia won its first ACC Championship since 1977, as Chris Henrich and Mike Salopek captured ACC titles at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively.
The Cavaliers qualified a school-record eight wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, where UVa racked up 34 team points in taking 15th place - Virginia's second-best finish at NCAAs. The 1957 team, with a 10th-place finish, is the only UVa team to finish higher. Henrich finished third at 174 pounds to become the first two-time All-American in Virginia wrestling history.
Virginia also had five wrestlers named to the All-ACC team by virtue of their top-two finishes at the conference championships - Ross Gitomer (125), Matt Snyder (133), Shawn Harris (149), Henrich (174) and Salopek (184).