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Hurricanes Prominent In BIG EAST 10th Anniversary Football Honors

Aug. 23, 2000

CORAL GABLES, Fla. ( – Former Miami defensive tackle Warren Sapp has been selected BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Decade, while Kevin Johnson of Syracuse and Tremain Mack of Miami share the special teams honor, the league announced. Former Syracuse quarterback Donovan McNabb, the only three-time Offensive Player of the Year in conference history, has been chosen the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Decade. Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer has been picked as BIG EAST Coach of the Decade.

Voting was conducted among BIG EAST media members in anticipation of the 2000 season, the league’s 10th year of football action.

Sapp was a consensus All-America pick for the Hurricanes in 1994. He was the first league player to win the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the top defensive player in college football and the Lombardi Award, presented to the nation’s top lineman. Currently a standout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was a key player on two BIG EAST Championship teams. The native of Plymouth, Fla., is the only member of the BIG EAST 10th Anniversary Team that was a unanimous selection.

Mack was the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year in 1996. He led the nation in kickoff returns that season (39.5 yards per return), the only player in league history to lead the country in that category. The mark was also the second-highest average in NCAA history. He blocked three kicks in ’96 and totaled nine deflected boots in his career. The native of Tyler, Texas set a UM record with 528 kick return yards during the 1996 season.

McNabb, the current starting quarterback of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, owns several BIG EAST passing records, ranking first in passing yards (8,389), touchdown passes (77), total offensive yards (9,950) and touchdown responsibility (96). He was the first player in conference history to be named All-BIG EAST First Team four times in his career. A native of Dolton, Ill., he led the Orangemen to three BIG EAST Championships during his tenure, including berths in the FedEx Orange and Tostitos Fiesta Bowls.

Johnson was the unanimous BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year in 1998. He led the league in kick returns in both 1997 and ’98, tying the conference record for yards per return in ’97 (30.0 avg.). Johnson is the BIG EAST’s all-time leader in returns for a touchdown with four, including a 100-yard return for a score against Miami in 1998. The Trenton, N.J., native is fourth on both the BIG EAST and Syracuse career lists with 1,437 kickoff return yards.

Beamer has guided Virginia Tech to national prominence, including the first 11-0 regular season in school history in 1999. The Hokie mentor has won three conference titles, tied for the most championships by a head coach in league history (Dennis Erickson, Paul Pasqualoni). A three-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year (1999, ’96, ’95), he has guided Tech to seven consecutive bowl games.

The BIG EAST 10th Anniversary Team selections include 29 different players. Miami led the way with seven players chosen, followed by Boston College (5), West Virginia (5), Syracuse (5), Virginia Tech (4) and Pittsburgh (3).

(as selected by BIG EAST media)

Big East Offensive Player Of The Decade
DONOVAN McNABB, SYRACUSE, Quarterback, 1995-98, Dolton, Ill./Mt. Carmel

Big East Defensive Player Of The Decade
WARREN SAPP, MIAMI, DT, 1992-94, Plymouth, Fla./Apopka

Big East Special TEAMS Players Of The Decade
KEVIN JOHNSON, SYRACUSE, Kick Returner, 1995-98, Trenton, N.J./Hamilton West
TREMAIN MACK, MIAMI, Defensive Back/Punt Returner, 1994-96, Tyler, Texas/Chapel Hill

Big East Coach Of The Decade
FRANK BEAMER, VIRGINIA TECH – Career Record: 130-83-4 (.608), 19 seasons
Record at Virginia Tech: 88-60-2, 13 seasons, Since ’91: 71-34-1/40-15 BIG EAST



Years In
Pos. Player School BIG EAST Hometown/High School/Junior College
WR Dietrich Jells Pittsburgh 1991-95 Erie, Pa./Tech Memorial
WR Marvin Harrison Syracuse 1992-95 Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic
WR Antonio Freeman Virginia Tech 1991-94 Baltimore, Md./Polytechnic
OL Doug Brzezinski Boston College 1995-98 Livonia, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central
OL Pete Kendall Boston College 1992-95 Weymouth, Mass./Archbishop Williams
OL Leon Searcy Miami 1991 Orlando, Fla./Maynard Evans
OL Reuben Brown Pittsburgh 1991-94 Lynchburg, Va./E.C. Glass
OL Jim Pyne Virginia Tech 1991-93 Milford, Mass./Milford/Choate-Rosemary Hall (Conn.)
TE Pete Mitchell Boston College 1991-94 Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice
QB Donovan McNabb Syracuse 1995-98 Dolton, Ill./Mt. Carmel
RB Edgerrin James Miami 1996-98 Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee
RB Amos Zereoue West Virginia 1996-98 Hempstead, N.Y./W.C. Mepham
PK Shayne Graham Virginia Tech 1996-99 Dublin, Va./Pulaski County
KR/PR Kevin Johnson Syracuse 1995-98 Trenton, N.J./Hamilton West
DL Chris Hovan Boston College 1996-99 Rocky River, Ohio/St. Ignatius
DL Mike Mamula Boston College 1993-94 Lackawanna, N.Y./Lackawanna Secondary
DL Warren Sapp** Miami 1992-94 Plymouth, Fla./Apopka
DL Corey Moore Virginia Tech 1997-99 Brownsville, Tenn./Haywood
DL Canute Curtis West Virginia 1993-96 Amityville, N.Y./Farmingdale
LB Micheal Barrow Miami 1991-92 Homestead, Fla./Homestead
LB Ray Lewis Miami 1993-95 Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen
LB Tom Tumulty Pittsburgh 1991, 93-95 Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills
LB Gary Stills West Virginia 1996-98 Trenton, N.J./Valley Forge Military Academy
CB Ryan McNeil Miami 1991-92 Fort Pierce, Fla./Westwood
CB Kevin Abrams Syracuse 1994-96 Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough
CB Aaron Beasley West Virginia 1992-95 Pottstown, Pa./Valley Forge
S Tremain Mack Miami 1994-96 Tyler, Texas/Chapel Hill
S Donovin Darius Syracuse 1994-97 Camden, N.J./Woodrow Wilson
P Todd Sauerbrun West Virginia 1991-94 Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville

** – unanimous selection
ties created an additional position at wide receiver, linebacker, defensive line and cornerback