Amato: 'Why Should I be on a Hot Seat?'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Wolfpack head coach Chuck Amato met with the media following Monday's practice.

Chuck Amato (9:55)

Opening Thoughts:
We changed practice to go out into the heat of today, at noon it was just brutal, and we get out here and it's overcast. Which one of you guys did it?

Can you catch us up on the defensive end situation?
You know when you order eggs in the morning... sometimes you order eggs over, sometimes you order eggs hard, sometimes you order eggs scrambled. That's our defensive end situation... scrambled.

Nobody wants it, nobody wants it. Nobody will step up and say this is mine and you're not going to get it back. Nobody... so we'll just keep scrambling. Maybe one day someone will step up.

What do you think of your relationship with the students and how important is it?
I think it's great. It needs to be good. Why shouldn't it? I was one once.

We're all part of it. It's a family. It's a family. I speak to them every year before the season starts.

How is Toney Baker's situation?
It's more precautionary. He's going to be fine. If he didn't take another step, if Andre didn't take another step [in practice] it wouldn't bother me one bit. At one time last year we had six, and now we just have three running backs.

We're gonna keep him out probably the next day or two. He probably could come back tomorrow and do something and go full speed Wedsnesday, but why?

So you're saying those guys are ready?
I'll tell you what, if they are not, if they get better than the way they look now, somebody is in trouble. I know our defense has been in trouble trying to tackle them.

It's the time of the year when they talk about hot seats. Do you have one and where do you keep it?
The hot seat? In my '69 corvette. When there's no air conditioning that driver's seat gets awful hot.

Do you feel like you're on the hot seat?
Why should I? Why should I? Why should I be on a hot seat? You see that stadium? It wasn't there five or six years ago.

I think to build a program, you've got to win within the state first. In this state, there's five Division I-A schools. Check the record over the last six years. The second-winningest school in this state has won 30. That's five a year. We're two shy of winning eight a year... we're at 46.

Take the other four schools in this state... how many bowls have they been to? Five. What's their record? 1-4. We've been to five. Our record is 4-1. We've got to get the bowls. Then when we get the bowls we've got to get hungry to get to that next big bowl. We had a little taste of it. We were just visiting... I'll be daggone.

Somebody in Jacksonville told me this, I didn't know this. Since the Atlantic Coast Conference has been "in," after six seasons, the fourth-winningest coach is [me]. Somebody told me that. I didn't know that. Out of all the coaches to ever coach here. Daggone. After six years I won more games than Tommy Bowden... and more games than... if I'm on one, so be it. I don't know why I should be. Because we're winning... we're going to bowls. We're close.

I thought what George Welsh did at the University of Virginia was absolutely awesome. When I got here, he was one of five or six teams in the country that had won seven or more games, I believe ten years in a row. I came one short of being seven or more... had I won one and had a chance to go to a bowl I might have been in that thing after seven years. I think that's awfully good.

I look at what's happening. I look at where we're at and where we've come from. I don't know. Do you know something I don't? Write it... you write everything else. Write it.

Do people forget about stuff you're talking about and just focus on individual games?
Am I on the hot seat? People have their opinions. When we won 11 games, and our 11th was against a team that won 75% of every game they've ever played, and our 10th was against a team that was the school of the 1990s and at that point was the team of the millennium, there was still people that didn't like what I did. I don't listen to that.

I know what we're doing. We're headed in the right direction. We really are. This is a very unique area. You name me another area in America where there are three teams within a 20-mile triangle of one another. It's not there. The closest one that has two is probably Southern Cal and UCLA, and that makes for a lot of jibber jabber.

I don't even know why I'm talking... when this question is asked I usually [don't]. You asked and I said, "No I'm not," and you asked why not and this is why. Maybe I got a poor education. Well I think I got one hell of an education at North Carolina State University both as an undergraduate and a graduate because they teach you pretty good here.

Coach you turn 60 this year. How much longer do you see yourself coaching?
60? Until I'm 100. That is a misprint. I am not 60 years old. What I'm going to do is celebrate my 35th anniversary of my 25th birthday. That's the way I feel. We elected a president at 80 years old. Bobby Bowden is 76 and Joe Paterno is going to turn 80.

I love it. What am I going to do? I don't play golf. The things I do I can't tell you. Why? I just got here.

After I was here two years people wanted me to move out of my house. I lived in the biggest house in Raleigh... I had 178 bedrooms, I had an indoor swimming pool. I had the biggest house in the city... 2,700 square feet. I had a jacuzzi in my bedroom. Holy Smokes. They said, "He's leaving." Now you want me to retire?

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