Chuck Amato is not going to be the first head football coach of the Charlotte 49ers.
Amato told the Observer's David Scott that he'd "love to be the guy."
I'd love to have a winter home in Arizona and a summer home on Bald Head Island.
Amato was a fine assistant coach at Florida State. He was a solid head coach at N.C. State -- when Phillip Rivers played quarterback for him. When Rivers moved to the San Diego Chargers, the Wolfpack moved toward the bottom of the ACC. N.C. State let him go after the 2007 season.
Amato was in Charlotte last summer and showed up at the office of athletic director Judy Rose without an appointment. Somebody saw him on campus and the rumors flew -- don't you love message boards? -- suddenly Amato became the leading contender for the job.
But he's not.
I don't know who the 49ers will hire. Some fans will want a celebrity and push for somebody famous. Fans of the Carolina Panthers made the same push for Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden.
The Charlotte 49er football quest has been looked down upon since its inception. That there will be a program is a testament to the resolve of the university, the administration, students and fans. They were supposed to give up. Almost everybody said so. The 49ers played hardball. They refused.
The first coach will have to do more than develop a football program. He'll have to bridge the massive disconnect between the city and the school. He'll have to give fans that have no connection to the 49ers a reason to give up their Saturday afternoons and come to campus and watch the team play.
It's an appealing assignment.
I understand why Amato would campaign for it.
I also understand why the school won't hire him.