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Amato ousted after season-ending collapse

North Carolina State fired coach Chuck Amato on Sunday, a day after he completed his seventh season at his alma mater.

The former Wolfpack linebacker was 49-37 and led the team to five bowl games. But his squads were 25-31 in the ACC and never finished higher than fourth.

This season, N.C. State (3-9) lost its last seven to finish with a losing record for the second time in three seasons since quarterback Philip Rivers went to the NFL. The Wolfpack finished with a home loss to East Carolina.

"This is obviously a disappointing decision for me, but I would never do anything to hurt North Carolina State University," Amato said.

Amato took over at N.C. State after 18 years at Florida State, 14 as assistant head coach.

Sun Devils fire coach

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State fired coach Dirk Koetter, who led his team to a bowl the past three seasons but rarely beat the best in the Pac-10.

Koetter went 40-33 in six seasons at ASU. There was no word on whether Koetter would coach the team in a bowl game.

SPARTANS PICK DANTONIO: Michigan State is close to hiring Cincinnati's Mark Dantonio as coach, and university president Lou Anna Simon will recommend the move to the board of trustees, the Associated Press reported. Dantonio, a former Spartans assistant, would succeed the fired John L. Smith.

NUTT SHOOTS DOWN RUMOR: Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said he is not seeking the position at Miami and is focused on Florida in Saturday's SEC Championship Game. Miami fired Larry Coker on Friday.

CHANGE OF PACE: Georgia coach Mark Richt revealed he let quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo handle play-calling in Saturday's victory over Georgia Tech. Bobo will run the offense in the bowl game, then Richt will decide whether to make the change permanent.

IOWA ST.: The school hired a coach and scheduled a news conference for today. Officials would not reveal who would replace Dan McCarney, who resigned this month. The Cyclones have expressed interest in Central Michigan coach Brian Kelly, Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell and San Diego coach Jim Harbaugh, though Harbaugh's agent said last week he was no longer a candidate.

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