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For Ralph Friedgen, ACC Coach Of The Year Honor Is Vindication

There weren't a lot of people supporting Ralph Friedgen at this time last year. He was just coming off a 2-10 season and it didn't look like he had a lot of the pieces in place he would need to build a successful program. These were bad times for the Maryland football program and coach Friedgen specifically.

But just 12 months later the football team has done a complete 180. They had a shot at the ACC Title Game late in the season, and should be going to a pretty good bowl game. And with the ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien, under the helm for the foreseeable future, things seem to be looking up. He went from the nearly getting fired, to the Coach of the Year faster than you can say Debbie Yow. It's a pretty remarkable turnaround. According to Eric Prisbell of Terrapin Insider, that means vindication for the man affectionately known as the Fridge.

Among the first things Friedgen spoke about yesterday: vindication. Unprompted, he reminded media that a year ago at this time he was almost fired. He thanked alumni and fans who remained loyal through last season’s 12-game nightmare. He thanked the media that voted for him. He also said that some people wanted him to make staff changes. Head coaches often don't survive 2-10 seasons. More rare is the head coach who survives a 2-10 season and brings back his entire staff.

Vindication is a pretty strong word. It implies that you were able to overcome strong opposition to achieve something that nobody thought you could attain. And that's exactly what coach Friedgen has done.