College Football: Amato goes back to Florida State

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2007

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State coach Bobby Bowden rehired former longtime assistant Chuck Amato on Wednesday, completing the biggest realignment of his coaching staff in more than three decades.

Amato, who was fired as North Carolina State’s head coach in November, spent 18 seasons with Bowden through the 1980s and ’90s, including a run of 14 consecutive years when the Seminoles won 10 or more games and finished in the top five nationally.

Amato, 60, succeeds Kevin Steele as executive head coach and linebackers coach. Steele left to become Alabama’s defensive coordinator.

“Chuck will fill the last void we had in our staff and allow us not to miss a beat,” Bowden said Wednesday in a release from the school.

A former player at North Carolina State, Amato was fired in November a day after he completed his seventh season at his alma mater. The former Wolfpack linebacker had a 49-37 record at the school and led the team to five bowl games, but his squads were 25-31 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and never finished higher than fourth.

“I’m excited about being back on board at Florida State,” said Amato, who is not expected to sign his contract with Florida State until next week. “I know everybody there and we are so familiar with everything so I’m just very excited about that.”


Following a 7-6 season, Bowden replaced everyone on his offensive staff except for tight ends coach John Lilly, the team’s recruiting coordinator.

The staff changes began when Bowden’s youngest son, Jeff Bowden, resigned under pressure in mid-November as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Jimbo Fisher was hired last week as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach while former Seminole stars Lawrence Dawsey and Dexter Carter were picked to coach receivers and running backs and veteran Rick Trickett came from West Virginia to handle the offensive line.