|Position:||Associate Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator|
|Alma Mater:||North Carolina State, 1969|
in his 40th year in the collegiate coaching ranks, including
serving as head coach at North Carolina State and long-time
assistant coach at Florida State, joined the Akron staff in January
2012. He serves as the program's associate head coach and defensive
Amato is one of the most respected coaches and recruiters in college football and has produced winning football teams and numerous top draft picks throughout his career. In 2002, he was elected to the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees.
Amato, 66 (born June 26, 1946), served as head coach at his alma mater NC State from 2000-06 and posted a 49-37 record while guiding the program to five bowl appearances (4-1 record in those bowl games). He led the Wolfpack to their first 11-win season in school history in 2002 and highest national ranking (No. 12 in the final Associated Press poll; No. 11 in the final Coaches poll) since 1974, after defeating Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl. The 2004 NC State squad led the nation in total defense. Additionally under Amato, quarterback Philip Rivers rewrote the program and ACC record books in every passing and total offense category. During his tenure, he had 22 players drafted into the NFL, including five in the first round.
In 2000, Amato’s NC State squad defeated Minnesota in the MicronPC.com Bowl, in 2001, lost to Pittsburgh in the Tangerine Bowl, in 2003 downed Kansas in the Tangerine Bowl, and in 2006 topped South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Amato spent 21 seasons on the staff at Florida State (1982-1999 and 2007-09). In his most recent stint (2007-09) he served as executive head coach to then-head coach Bobby Bowden. From 1982-95 he coached the defensive line, 1996-99 the linebackers and from 1986-99 also served as assistant head coach. He was part of 10 ACC championship teams and two national championship squads (1993 and 1999). Six of his Seminole players were selected in the NFL Draft's first round and 24 defensive players overall that he directly coached were drafted during his FSU tenure.
Amato was also a member of the NC State staff from 1971-79, serving as graduate assistant (1971-72), defensive secondary coach (1973-75) and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach (1976-79). He also coached linebackers at Arizona from 1980-81. His coaching career began at Easton High School in his hometown of Easton, Pa., where he was an assistant coach from 1969-70.
Amato lettered in football (linebacker) and wrestling at NC State, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1969 and master's degree in education in 1973. The 1965 football team won an ACC co-championship and he was captain of the defense in 1967. He won two ACC titles as a wrestler in 1966 (heavyweight) and 1968 (191-pound weight class).
He and his wife, Peggy, have twin daughters, LuGina and Selena.
Amato's Year-By-Year Coaching Experience:
1969-70 – Easton (Pa.) High School (assistant coach)
1971-72 – NC State (graduate assistant)
1973-75 – NC State (defensive secondary)
1976-79 – NC State (defensive coordinator / linebackers)
1980-81 – Arizona (linebackers)
1982-95 – Florida State (defensive line)
1996-99 – Florida State (linebackers)
1986-99 – Florida State (assistant head coach)
2000-06 – NC State (head coach) (49-37 record)
2007-09 – Florida State (executive head coach)
2012- – Akron (associate head coach / defensive coordinator)
Amato’s No. 1 Draft Picks:
Mario Williams (Texans No. 1 overall pick, 2006)
Manny Lawson (49ers No. 1 draft choice, 2006)
John McCargo (Bills No. 1 draft choice, 2006)
Philip Rivers (Giants No. 1 draft choice, 2004)
Koren Robinson (Seahawks No. 1 draft choice, 2001)
Andre Wadsworth (Cardinals No. 1 draft choice, 1998)
Sam Cowart (Bills No. 1 draft choice, 1998)
Peter Boulware (Ravens No. 1 draft choice, 1997)
Reinard Wilson (Bengals No. 1 draft choice, 1997)
Derrick Alexander (Vikings No. 1 draft choice, 1995)
Alphonso Carreker (Packers No. 1 draft choice, 1984)