GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Atlantic Coast Conference Football Player of the Year Kenny Pickett of Pitt and national women’s lacrosse player of the year Charlotte North of Boston College are the top ACC male and female athletes for the 2021-22 academic year, as voted upon by a select media panel (88 voters).
Pickett receives the 69th Anthony J. McKevlin Award as the conference’s premier male athlete. The Oakhurst, New Jersey, senior directed the Panthers to an 11-win season and the program’s first ACC championship in 2021. The 11 victories marked Pitt’s most since the 1981 team led by Dan Marino went 11-1.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from the ACC, a conference that annually produces so many accomplished athletes,” said Pickett. “As always, I share this honor with my Pitt teammates, coaches and staff. Winning the ACC championship together is something I will cherish forever.”
North, who earned the 2022 Tewaaraton Award as the nation’s top lacrosse player, receives the 32nd Mary Garber Award as the ACC’s most outstanding female athlete for the second consecutive season. She is just the fifth female student-athlete to earn the ACC athlete of the year honor in consecutive seasons and the first since Duke’s Alana Beard (basketball) in 2003 and 2004.
“I couldn’t be more honored and humbled to be named the ACC Female Athlete of the Year,” said North. “To earn this award in a very competitive conference with all of the excellent and inspiring athletes is a dream come true. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for always supporting me, pushing and making me a better person and player. This is because of them. I couldn’t be more happy to have played here and be a part of the BC family and community. Thank you!”
The ACC Athlete of the Year Awards are given in memory of two distinguished journalists. McKevlin was a sports editor of the Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer, while Garber, of the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal, was a pioneer as one of the first female sports journalists in the nation.
Pickett started all 13 games for Pitt and completed 67% of his passes (334 of 497) for 4,319 yards with 42 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Including his five rushing scores, he totaled 47 touchdowns.
Pickett’s passing yardage, passing touchdowns, total TDs and completions are all Pitt season records. He also set an ACC season record for touchdown passes, breaking the prior mark of 41 set by Clemson’s Deshaun Watson in 2016.
Pickett was named first-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), becoming the first Pitt quarterback to earn first-team status since Marino in 1981. He was selected the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (presented to the top upperclassman quarterback set to graduate with his class) and the Senior CLASS Award (presented to the most outstanding senior Football Bowl Subdivision student-athlete).
Pickett was a Heisman Trophy finalist—Pitt’s first since receiver Larry Fitzgerald in 2003—and finished third in the balloting. Pickett was selected in the first round (20th overall) of the NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, becoming the 26th Pitt player to be selected in the opening round.
“Kenny had a historic year, not only for Pitt but also for the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said head coach Pat Narduzzi. “He represented our university, the city of Pittsburgh and the ACC with the utmost class every step of the way. Kenny is a very deserving recipient of this prestigious award and we are, yet again, tremendously proud of him.”
Pickett led the McKevlin Award balloting with 32 votes and becomes the first Pitt student-athlete selected for the honor since the Panthers began ACC competition in 2013-14. Florida State track standout Trey Cunningham followed Pickett with 18 votes, and North Carolina basketball player Armando Bacot was third with 16.
Boston College’s North was the 2022 IWLCA Division I Player of the Year and Attacker of the Year and earned All-American honors from the IWLCA, Inside Lacrosse/IL Women, and USA Lacrosse Magazine. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse College Draft, North finished third in the country in goals scored (92), fourth in draw controls (139), and fifth in points (115), leading BC to its second-consecutive national championship game. She was one of only two players at the Division I level to register 90 goals and 100 draw controls. North finished her career as the all-time goals leader in NCAA Division I history (358) and ranks third all-time in NCAA history with 433 points and ninth with 373 draw controls.
A native of Dallas, Texas, North was named the 2022 ACC’s Women’s Lacrosse Student-Athlete of the Year, the second straight year she has received the award.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Charlotte being named the ACC Female Athlete of the Year,” said BC lacrosse coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein. “She is the embodiment of what a student-athlete should be, and has been the face of lacrosse since she stepped on campus. To see her win this award for the second time in a conference full of outstanding athletes is incredible.”
North received 27 votes to lead the Garber Award balloting, followed by Virginia swimmer Kate Douglass with 16 and FSU’s Jaelin Howell with 12.