Virginia Tech’s John Szefc named ACC Coach of the Year

Szefc guided Tech to a program record, 19 ACC victories, No. 1 seed in this week’s ACC Baseball Championship

Virginia Tech baseball coach John Szefc named the ACC Coach of the Year (WSLS)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – With sweeping regard for the talent, leadership and prowess of the 2022 ACC Coastal Division champions, eight Virginia Tech baseball student-athletes – a program record – have garnered year-end, all-conference praise with the Hokies’ skipper, John Szefc, being deservingly named the ACC Coach of the Year.

The mastermind behind Virginia Tech’s historic rise among the elite in college baseball, Szefc becomes Tech’s first all-time conference Coach of the Year honoree. After the Hokies were picked in February to finish sixth in the ACC Coastal Division – and had started 0-4 during conference play in March – he set Tech on a remarkable run to clinch its first league crown, winning each of its final nine ACC series and 30 of its last 35 regular season games.

Under Szefc’s leadership, the Hokies spent five consecutive weeks ranked inside D1Baseball’s top 10 this season, climbing to No. 3 or higher in each of the six leading college baseball polls. Having guided Tech to a program record, 19 ACC victories, he has the Hokies seeded No. 1 in this week’s ACC Baseball Championship and on the verge of hosting their first NCAA Regional since 2013.

Gavin Cross, Drue Hackenberg and Tanner Schobel represented Tech on the All-ACC First Team, marking the first time since 2003 (BIG EAST) when the Hokies produced four or more first team honorees. Cade Hunter followed with his placement onto the All-ACC Second Team while Nick Biddison and Griffin Green shared in receiving spots on the All-ACC Third Team.

Gavin Cross warming up prior to a Virginia Tech regular season game (WSLS)

In addition to his All-ACC First Team status, Hackenberg accompanied fellow newcomer Carson DeMartini on the ACC All-Freshman Team that showcased the league’s top 12 rookies. All honorees were recognized during the presentation of the 2022 ACC baseball postseason awards on Monday’s episode of ESPN/ACC Network’s Packer and Durham.

Cross becomes Tech’s first two-time All-ACC First Team selection, having been so named during his first complete collegiate season in 2021. At his best when pitted against ACC competition, the third-year outfielder batted .330 and slugged .661 during conference games, where he hit 10 of his 13 home runs and earned 25 of his 38 RBIs.

Quick around the bases, Cross topped the ACC leaderboard in triples (five) for the second consecutive season while remaining perfect at 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts. Defensively, the five-time 2022 Preseason All-American made all but four of his 49 starts in center field, recording three outfield assists for the Hokies.

A true freshman, Hackenberg was one of the most consistent ACC pitchers, leading the conference in cumulative ERA (2.44) and wins (10) while toeing the fourth most innings pitched (85.0). The six-foot-two right-hander won eight of his first nine collegiate starts, achieving quality starts on nine occasions – including seven against the ACC.

Tech logged a 12-2 record when Hackenberg made it to the mound, witnessing the rookie post seven or more strikeouts during seven of his outings. He is also ranked among the top 50 NCAA Division I pitchers in both strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.20) and walks allowed per nine innings (1.59).

One of the Hokies’ best all-around players, Schobel becomes Tech’s first shortstop to place onto the All-ACC First Team, earning selection after ranking among the league’s top five players in conference-only slugging percentage (.752), RBIs (36) and home runs (13).

Tanner Schobel hits a home run against Duke during the final regular season series (WSLS)

Considering his 51 overall starts, the true sophomore batted .366 with 74 hits, 15 doubles, a triple and 16 homers, ranking among the top 25 NCAA Division I players in RBIs (66).