April 23, 2010

Courtesy of North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C.--The University of North Carolina swept the top three ACC awards in men's lacrosse Friday as announced by the conference office in Greensboro. Junior attackman Billy Bitter was named the 2010 ACC Player of the Year, freshman attackman Marcus Holman was named the 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year and head coach Joe Breschi was named the 2010 ACC Coach of the Year.

Bitter and Breschi were the first ACC player and coach of the year winners for UNC since 1996 while Holman was UNC's first freshman of the year since 1998. It is the first time in school history the Tar Heels have swept all three awards and only the fifth time it has happened in conference history. The last school to collect all three accolades was Duke in 2005 when Mike Pressler (Coach), Matt Danowski (Player) and Zack Greer (Freshman) posted the award sweep. Prior to 2005, Virginia earned all three honors in 1997, 1999 and 2002.

Bitter, from Stowe, Vt., Thursday was named All-ACC for the second year in a row. Carolina's top offensive threat, who has been regularly double and triple teamed all year, leads the Tar Heels in points with 39 and in assists with 20 to go along with his 19 goals, just one goal behind the team lead in that category. He also has 31 ground balls and six caused turnovers. He has been named ACC Player of the Week twice this year. He heads into the ACC Tournament with a 29-match scoring streak, which equals the fifth-longest in the nation. The last Tar Heel to win player of the year accolades was midfielder Jason Wade in 1996. The Tewaaraton Trophy picks up the program's ninth overall Player of the Year honor. Bitter has tallied 18 multi-goal games, including six already this season, 20 multi-assist games (seven in 2010) and 31 multi-point games (10 in 2010) over his three-year career.

Holman wins freshman of the year honors. He is UNC's fifth leading scorer with 24 points on 17 goals and seven assists. He has scored on 41.5 percent of his shots and has 23 ground balls and four caused turnovers, both the second highest total for UNC attackmen in 2010. He was named ACC Player of the Week and Inside Lacrosse Nike Player of the Week after scoring four goals and adding an assist in a 9-7 win over Maryland on March 27. He becomes the first Tar Heel to win the award since attackman Jeff Sonke in 1998.

Joe Breschi is UNC's first ACC coach of the year since Dave Klarmann in 1996. Breschi has led the Tar Heels to an 11-1 record this year and a No. 3 national ranking in both polls. In his two seasons as UNC head coach Carolina is 23-7, a winning percentage of .767. The Tar Heels shared their first regular-season ACC crown this year since 2003. The 2010 Coach of the Year, as announced by the conference office on Friday afternoon and voted on by the league's four head coaches, led the Tar Heels to a 12-6 mark last season and an 11-1 record thus far this season. Breschi led this year's UNC squad to a 10-0 start as Carolina won its first 10 match-ups for the first time since 1991 when the Tar Heels finished the season 16-0 and won the NCAA championship under first-year Dave Klarmann. Ironically, Breschi was an assistant coach on that 1991 team led by Klarmann. Despite being the first coaching recognition in 13 years, Breschi's honor is the fifth all-time for UNC.

Now in his 13th year as head coach, including the first 11 campaigns at Ohio State where he was 92-63, and the two seasons at Carolina where he is 23-7, Breschi is currently 115-70 (.621) overall.