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November 26, 2006

Amato out as NC State football coach

The Raleigh News and Observer reported on its web site Sunday that NC State athletic director Lee Fowler confirmed that an announcement was forthcoming Sunday night regarding the status of head football coach Chuck Amato. Fowler would not say whether Amato would be fired or retained.

However multiple sources have confirmed to The Wolfpacker throughout the weekend that Amato will not be back as NC State's head coach next season. It is not believed that Amato resigned.

NC State wrapped up its 3-9 season Saturday evening with a 21-16 loss to East Carolina, extending the Pack's losing streak to seven games. It was the longest losing streak to end a year since 1959, also the last time State had lost as many as nine games.

"When I came to North Carolina State University, I set my dreams very high," Amato said. "My vision was to take this program to places that it had never been before in 100-plus years of playing football. We really don't know how long or how difficult it is to be able to attain those types of goals because we've never been there before in football."

Amato has a 49-37 record in seven seasons at his alma mater. His job status has been under constant speculation for the past two weeks, heating up after a 23-9 loss to rival North Carolina Nov. 18 in Chapel Hill. The Pack went 2-6 in conference action and finished tied with the Heels for the second worst league record.

"I didn't come here to use this job as a stepping stone like many others have or could," Amato's statement continued. "I wanted to surround myself with people who would help me stretch my vision and not choke my dreams. This is obviously a disappointing decision for me, but I would never do anything to hurt North Carolina State University. This season was a big disappointment but I'm very proud of what I accomplished during my tenure. I believe that my relentless persistence and my passion have brought an enthusiasm, an energy and an emotion that couldn't be equaled. Those same qualities are just as strong in me today as they were the first day I took this job. I haven't lost my passion, my will to succeed, or my joy."

NC State athletic director Lee Fowler said it was time to make a change.

"No Wolfpack fan can question the excitement and enthusiasm that Chuck Amato brought to the NC State football program when he came here in 2000," said Fowler. "His dreams have become our dreams and that has translated itself into our great new facilities, record ticket sales and five bowl appearances in seven years. However, because the results on the field in two of the last three seasons have fallen far below where we feel our program should be at this point, we have decided to take the program in a new direction."

The NC State administration also thanked Amato for his time and work at the university.

"Chuck Amato has been a part of Wolfpack football for more than four decades and as a head coach has raised our expectations and goals," said chancellor James L. Oblinger. "We appreciate everything that Chuck has done for the program and our student-athletes. We wish him all the best in the future; he will always be a member of the Wolfpack family."

Fowler added that a nation-wide search for Amato's replacement would begin right away.

"Our search will be national in scope and we will begin the process through a search firm very quickly," Fowler said. "I ask that all Wolfpackers join together in supporting our student-athletes and staying behind our program."


N.C. State NEWS

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