Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ex-Pack coach Amato has cancer

Former N.C. State football coach Chuck Amato will undergo treatment for a cancerous spot located on his tonsil, N.C. State sports information director Annabelle Myers confirmed.

Doctors detected the cancer early, and a full recovery is expected.
Amato gave a statement to Myers after a Charlotte Observer and News & Observer reporter inquired about his health.

“I appreciate the concern and prayers so many people,” Amato said. “The prognosis is optimistic, which is very encouraging, and with the grace of God and the support of my family and friends and the Wolfpack Nation, I will get through this.”

Amato, 63, is a former N.C. State football player and wrestler and was the Wolfpack’s head coach from 2000 to 2006. He posted records of 49-37 overall and 25-31in the ACC with five bowl appearances in seven seasons.

He returned to Florida State’s staff for the last three seasons, but was not retained at the end of the 2009 season when Jimbo Fisher took over for departing head coach Bobby Bowden.

Amato plans to continue his daily routine and workout regimen while undergoing treatment and is seeking another coaching job.

“Six weeks from now, I will be as good as can be and ready to go if someone out there is looking for a great coach,” Amato said.

Doctors discovered the cancer in December. Amato had hoped to speak in person with his mentor, Bowden, before going public about the disease.

But upon learning that his cancer was being discussed in Internet chat rooms, he decided to go public.

“Now that the word has spread, I want to assure everyone that I will tackle this challenge just like I’ve tackled coaching throughout my career - full speed ahead,” he said.

Ken Tysiac