Grade Chuck Amato

As Chuck enters what could be a pivotal Year Seven – how do you grade Chuck’s tenure? Consider all aspects of his reign, from on-field results to program building.

In my view, he did a great job coming in and building the program. But three below reasonable expectation seasons in a row drop his grade quite a bit. Although I am tempted to grade him out at C+, perhaps that is going too far. In light of a pretty high peak in Year Three (especially when compared to the program’s history), I’ll bump him up to a B-. For Chuck to make it here long-term, that grade needs to start trending up again.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

'06 Football Alums Chuck Amato General NCS Football

35 Responses to Grade Chuck Amato

  1. Wolfpack4ever 08/30/2006 at 10:04 PM #

    I’ll split the grade: B+ OOC and C- in conference. He does get extra credit for the shellacking of ND in the Gator Bowl.

  2. vtpackfan 08/30/2006 at 10:57 PM #

    I give him a C+ for giving Florida State heck each time, and going toe to toe with OSU, VT (and oh yeah, shellacking ND). I think the problem with getting up and facusing on beating the supposed equal matchs or teams we are much better then obvious falls on his shoulders. His players at times let him down and how many f-ing asst. coachs do you have to go thru in seven years. In the twenty odd years that Beamer has coached at VT he has had the same asst. coachs the whole time. Can Amato keep any help? It has cost his time at State tremedously.

  3. travelwolf 08/31/2006 at 12:50 AM #

    i’d give him a B-. he seems to develop players well – in terms of motivating the players to reach their full playing potential and in terms of character. i say ‘seems’ because i only know what’s written. i believe this is a positive aspect of amato that isn’t covered enough. it could be a great selling point that could get him to the next level. maybe he doesn’t develop players that well???? but, it’s nice not to have to worry about wolfpack players appearing in the police blotter (am i jinxing us?). the other thing is that he’s a defensive specialist – and the defense has been quite good. a bad offense eventually causes the defense to get tired and look bad. he just needs to hire the right offensive coach – he’s one coach from an A, i believe. then, we wouldn’t have to worry about beating UNC.

  4. class of 74 08/31/2006 at 6:04 AM #

    C. This year is pivotal. I expect much more from someone who has been given so much.

  5. waxhaw 08/31/2006 at 7:25 AM #

    Are we grading him in relation to our expectations for football at NC State (i.e. going forward) or in relation to our history.

    History — A-
    Going Forward — C or C+

    We have better facilities than I ever dreamed we would have. We have beaten multiple teams that I never thought we would beat. I have hope for actually winning the ACC (maybe not this year). None of these things would have beent he case in the past.

  6. Wulfpack 08/31/2006 at 8:16 AM #

    C. Started out with a bang but sinking fast.

  7. RickJ 08/31/2006 at 9:08 AM #


    Positive reasons are that he has never had a team quit on him. Last year and 2001 were good examples of teams that could have given up.

    Amato is universally despised by Wake, Duke & UNC-Chapel Hill fans. Any Goat fan that tries to peddle the nonsense that they want Amato to remain our coach is either disingenuous or not very well informed.

    Talent accumulation – I see 6 offensive starters (Brown, Baker, Hill, Blackman, Harris & Couch) as potential NFL players although not as 1st rounders. We’ve had plenty of great players in our past but not in these numbers. Five of our in-state commitments for this year have offers from UNC-Chapel Hill. I can’t name five in-state recruits we beat them for in the previous six years before Amato.

    Negatives include assistant coaching continuity and having a quirky personality. The current staff looks pretty good but will they stay? His personality makes you an easy target. If Jim Grobe had recruited Manny Lawson & John McCargo and turned them into first round draft choices and gone 7 – 5 last year, there wouldn’t be enough bandwidth in world to contain all of the praise that would be heaped upon him.

  8. choppack1 08/31/2006 at 9:29 AM #

    Using the 4.0 scale…

    Year 1 – A – 4.0
    Year 2 – A – 4.0
    Year 3 – B – 3.0
    Year 4 – C – 2.0
    Year 5 – D – 1.0
    Year 6 – C – 2.0
    Total = 16, avg – 2.67 – High C, low B. The bad news is that we aren’t trending in the right direction. One could make the argument that we are just starting to play D the way Chuck wanted to 3 of his first 4 years, and we’ve just been plagued by bad QB play. Of course, I think the “star” system – hurt us a lot years 3, 4 and 5…Will it continue to hurt us in the future?

  9. BladenWolf 08/31/2006 at 9:33 AM #

    Amato through year seven = solid C.

    The facilities came through the Wolfpack Club, not Amato. The excitment and early success came from a kid named Rivers, not the guy wearing red sunglasses and clown shoes.

    He gets a solid C because he has kept the team up there with the big boys on most occasions (Fla State, Va Tech.), but not consistant enough when we play teams we should beat like Ga Tech, UNX, and Wake.

    His teams also succumb too easily to mental mistakes which equate to penalties and turnovers. …and the assist coaching turnover worries me a great deal.

    This season will be pivital for Amato indeed. A very good chance Cowher is coming to live in Raleigh next year. Pressure to perform? You better believe it.

  10. harrisek 08/31/2006 at 9:49 AM #

    Let’s see:

    + Recruits well
    – Individual players better than the team (7-5 record with 3 first rounders)
    + Inspires the fans
    – Criticizes the fans
    + Can’t keep key coaches
    – Doesn’t promote the coaches who have been loyal
    – Hasn’t shown year-to-year improvement that other good programs have
    + Gets the team up for big games
    – Can’t keep team focused for not-so-big games
    — Took a season and a half to fix the penalty problem
    – Get’s out-coached by Bunting

    I’ll give Coach Amato a solid D.

  11. harrisek 08/31/2006 at 9:51 AM #

    Hmm, not sure where that bolding came from in my comment.

  12. duckmanjw 08/31/2006 at 10:11 AM #

    Its crap like this and the fire coach such and such websites that gives other schools fans and the media the idea that we are falling apart over here.

    All its takes is for one UNC guy to buy a website domain or post up on a State board and the uniformed pile on like crazy and it takes away from what college sports are supposed to be.

    All this trending mess is BS. We are much better off as a complete team and a university because of things that have occurred since Amato came to Raleigh, whether they are a direct or indirect result of him!

    Not everything has worked out for titles or other over hyped things, but for once, we have a coach that expects great things from these kids, whether it comes to pass or not. Nothing less should be expected than #1, and if we had a coach that didn’t want that, then we would be truly falling apart!

    Either you are a fan and a full supporter of this team and the university or you’re not. Make up your mind.

  13. JimValvano 08/31/2006 at 10:29 AM #

    Chuck isn’t a player…he’s gotta earn his grades…you can’t be serious giving him a B-…that is ridiculous.

    Year one was great, but I’m throwing it out because of Norm Chow and Philip Rivers. I would throw out all of the Rivers years, but its too hard to ignore the fact that Amato ruined Phil’s senior season. The defense was horrible. The running game coughed the ball up too much and there was no improvement as the season progressed. Had Rivers not been around we wouldn’t have won 3 games. Furthermore, Amato and Co. ruined Philip’s chances of a Heisman. He would’ve won had we had a better record.

    Throwing those two seasons out, and looking at everything else leaves me with…close losses and some wins over FSU, but how many victories over UNC? Look at our record against the Tarholes in the Amato era. How many games have we won against them? I give Amato a D+…not to say that he couldn’t bring that grade up by beating the Tarholes, making a bowl game, and finishing this year with 8 wins or more. If he did that…then I could upgrade him to a C+. I do remember the embarassing loss last year to the Tarholes in which I was yelling for Fowler to: CHUCK CHUCK! COME ON FOWLER…CHUCK ‘EM! but at the time I was a little emotional. I think overall he deserves one more year, but if we lose to the Tarholes again and make another Toilet Bowl then we should look for a new coach. I’m not calling for the man’s head, but I will say that with any job…results are expected and goals are set and if they aren’t attained people lose their job. Why should Amato be held to a different standard at the workplace than everyone else.

  14. JimValvano 08/31/2006 at 10:32 AM #

    duckmanjw…”for once we have a coach that expects great things from these kids”

    That is a strong statement…I don’t think he’s the first coach to expect great things from our players. We did have Holtz and Sheridan.

  15. sautz 08/31/2006 at 10:32 AM #

    I’d have to give him a C- just because nearly every year, to me at least, team talent has been greater than the results on the field. This year should be very telling for what kind of future CTC has, as besides RB and maybe the secondary we aren’t as talented as we have been.

  16. RickJ 08/31/2006 at 10:39 AM #

    “Look at our record against the Tarholes in the Amato era. How many games have we won against them?”

    Amato record is 3 – 3 against the Tarholes. We were 0 – 6 in the six years prior to Amato.

  17. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/31/2006 at 10:46 AM #

    D as a coach bordering not an F simply because recruiting is a big part of his job. If I was grading game day coaching it would be about a 50.

    A as a fundraiser

    I’m not sure what the fat cats prefer to have at State but with the looks of all the spending on fat offices, luxury buildings and suites the current cast of charecters are building for themselves with donated money and maintained by the taxpayers I suspect they prefer a fundraiser over a coach.

  18. BJD95 08/31/2006 at 11:15 AM #

    Duckman – feel free to post your own grade. But don’t criticize this blog for mailing to meet “rah rah” cheerleader hopes – that’s not what we are about here. Simple, fair analysis.

    I’ve been perhaps the most critical individual blogger, and I still give him a B-. I think that’s plenty positive. As some others have noted, perhaps it’s too generous.

    As far as other coaches, I would give Dick Sheridan a B+ and Mike O’Cain a C-/D+.

  19. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/31/2006 at 12:21 PM #

    It is not only fair but fans should expect us to field a winning program. I love the Heels folks that say we are ‘fire’ happy after giving coaches over 5 years to do something and in Arizona State coach’s case a decade. Let’s talk Torbush and National Coach of the year Matt D’oh if me must.

    On coaching skills:
    Earl- A
    Lou- A
    Bo- A
    Monte- C+ (fired because he had the misfortune of following Earl, Lou and Bo and that unfortunate on-side kick against UNC@CH)
    Tom- F (our Torbush)
    Dick- B+
    Mike- C
    Chuck- D

  20. ShootingGuard 08/31/2006 at 1:00 PM #

    Having Philip Rivers covered up a lot of Amato’s mistakes and weaknesses early. Not having a suitable replacement to step in after Philip has hyper exposed all of his mistakes and weaknesses since…Overall, I give Amato a C compared to today’s game and what’s going on around the country and without comparison to NCSU history. A guy like Philip was in college doesn’t come along very often so you can’t depend on that for success, but Amato better find some linemen and hope Stone, Burke, or someone else steps up soon…

  21. Cardiac95 08/31/2006 at 1:17 PM #

    I’d give him a solid C+ on his entire body of work. Clearly not in the same league with Edwards, Holtz, & Reed (who all won ACC Titles). I’d also put him behind Sheridan who, had it not been for the arrival of FSU, would have won his own ACC Title in 1992.

    Keeping his staff intact seems to be his biggest stumbling block so I’m optimistic with the OC/DC signing to multi-year contracts. But his ACC record needs to get to the plus side and quickly.

  22. primacyone 08/31/2006 at 1:38 PM #

    Overall I give Amato a B. I think if he had a different the last two years, we would not even be having a lot of these conversations. I think Philip Rivers was so good Amato had a hard time convincing any QB recruites to enter the program.

    The program is much better – just has not shown up in the W column. The near future appears bright and his time to shine will come again.

  23. primacyone 08/31/2006 at 1:50 PM #

    Insert – a different QB – above.

  24. johnny 08/31/2006 at 1:52 PM #


    The plus is for riding a Harley into the recruiting press conference.
    (fast Lane)

  25. Texpack 08/31/2006 at 4:36 PM #

    He has had enough talent to compete with FSU, VT, ND. You have to give him credit for that. Recruiting is part of his job. By the same token, that talent has had a hard time beating Wake, UNC-CH, etc. You have to give him credit (blame) for that too. He certainly has raised expectations and funding. I can’t go much higher than a “C” until he can finish in the top 25% of the league a couple of times.

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