On working at N.C. State as opposed to Middle Tennessee State and why he left:
"There are a lot of similarities really. Right now it's a lot like it was in 2000 when we came to N.C. State. And I try to apply what I learned there to here. When we first got to State, they told us to beat Carolina, because at the time they couldn't beat Carolina. And then I believe we beat them three out of the first four years. [At Middle Tennessee State] it was home openers. They couldn't win the home opener. And so we won the home opener. But that gets forgotten quickly, like it does at N.C. State or anywhere else. But I only left because it was an opportunity to be a defensive coordinator. That's the only reason."
On how much credit or blame a coach deserves for the success or failure of a program:
"I think a coach deserves a ton of credit if he builds a program. You look at N.C. State six years ago when we came there. Outside of Raleigh and maybe the ACC, nobody knew about N.C. State. It's all about relevance to me. Six years ago N.C. State was not relevant nationally. But now, the program is nationally known. We used to have to explain to recruits where N.C. State was, and now they know. Now N.C. State's on the map. But no one wins every game, and you can't expect to. The number one thing about what Amato has done there is that N.C. State football is now relevant."