GREENSBORO, N.C. – Men's Soccer's Robbie Robinson has been named the 2019-20 Anthony J. McKevlin Award recipient as the ACC Male Athlete of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the conference office. Robinson is the first men’s soccer player to earn the honor in the 67-year history of the award.
Robinson, who also claimed the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy as the top soccer player in the nation, became just the third Clemson student-athlete to earn the league honor, joining Kris Benson in 1996 and Deshaun Watson in 2016 and 2017.
“We are very proud of Robbie,” said Head Coach Mike Noonan. “Anytime you are a national player of the year, you have to be in consideration for an award like this. His accomplishments and body of work from this season are deserving of the award.”
“This is a statement that by being the first male soccer player to receive the award, the sport is continuing to grow and sit prominently in the ACC as one of the top sports. The Clemson men’s soccer program continues to be a leader in the ACC and we’re proud to have the first soccer recipient of the award.”
The 2019 season saw Robinson win the men’s 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy while also being named first-team All-America, first-team All-South Region, ACC Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-ACC. Robinson ended the 2019 season atop the national rankings for total points (45), goals (18), points per game (2.37) and penalty kick conversion rate (1.000).
Robinson was selected first overall by Inter Miami CF in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Robinson became the first Clemson soccer player, and just the second Clemson student-athlete, to be selected with the first pick in a professional sports draft.
“It feels great to be the ACC Men’s Athlete of the Year,” said Robinson. “It shows all the hard work me and my team put in and the great coaching I had. It also shows the great improvement from my freshman year to my junior year. It is such a great honor to be included among those who have won the award before me and I hope to have along the same careers as they have had and be very successful.”
Robinson led the McKevlin Award balloting by receiving 38 votes, with Tre Jones of Duke and Trent Forrest of Florida State receiving 13 and eight votes, respectively. The award is voted on by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA). Other notable winners of the award include Lamar Jackson, Michael Jordan, Zion Williamson, James Worthy and Tim Duncan.
Erin Matson, a sophomore field hockey player for North Carolina, was the recipient of the Mary Garber Award as the league’s top female athlete. Matson led the nation in points and goals per game while helping to lead UNC to its second consecutive unbeaten season and NCAA title during the 2019 campaign. Matson was named the NFHCA National Player of the Year and became the first sophomore in UNC history to receive the Honda Sport Award as the nation’s top field hockey player.
The ACC Athlete of the Year Awards honor the legacies of two distinguished sports journalists. McKevlin was the sports editor of the Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer and had voted annually for the award since the ACC was formed in 1953-1954. Garber was a pioneer in sports journalism for women across the country, as she formerly wrote for the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal.