Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State fired football coach Chuck Amato on Sunday, a day after he completed his seventh season at his alma mater.
The former Wolfpack linebacker had a 49-37 record at the school and led the team to five bowl games, including the 2003 Tangerine Bowl against Kansas University. But his squads were 25-31 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and never finished higher than fourth.
This season, North Carolina State (3-9) lost seven straight games to finish with a losing record for the second time in three seasons since quarterback Philip Rivers went to the NFL. On Saturday, the Wolfpack finished the season with a 21-16 home loss to East Carolina.
In a statement Sunday, athletic director Lee Fowler credited Amato with helping the Wolfpack improve their football facilities and ticket sales, but said the program needed a change in leadership. He said a search for a replacement would begin immediately.
Arizona State fires Koetter
Scottsdale, Ariz. - Arizona State fired football coach Dirk Koetter on Sunday after he led his team to a bowl the last three seasons, but rarely beat the best in the Pac-10.
Athletic director Lisa Love made the announcement Sunday night following the team's annual awards banquet.
Koetter went 40-33 in six seasons at ASU. There was no word on whether he would coach the team in a bowl game.
His dismissal comes less than a year after Love gave him a contract extension through the 2009 season.
Michigan St. closing in on hire
Detroit - Michigan State is close to hiring Cincinnati's Mark Dantonio as its football coach, with an official telling the Associated Press on Sunday night that university President Lou Anna Simon will recommend the move to the board of trustees.
The official, who has knowledge of the latest developments in the coaching search, spoke on condition of anonymity because Michigan State had not yet made an announcement. The school only said that is has scheduled a special board of trustees meeting for today.
Dantonio, a former Spartans assistant and aide at Kansas University from 1991-94, would succeed the fired John L. Smith.
Oregon AD resigns
Eugene, Ore. - Bill Moos is resigning as Oregon's athletic director, school president Dave Frohnmayer said Sunday
Moos will remain in the position until March 2007.
The 55-year-old Moos has been athletic director since 1995, and guided the expansion of Autzen Stadium and the construction of the department's Moshofsky Center.
During his tenure, Oregon's athletic department budget rose from $18 million to $40 million, and added two women's sports.
Ames wins pot at Skins
La Quinta, Calif. - Skins Game rookie Stephen Ames rolled in a three-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole Sunday for $270,000 and a winning total of $590,000.
Fred Couples, who has won the Skins Game five times in 13 appearances, finished second with $385,000 to run his career Skins earnings to $3.9 million. Couples played the best golf of the foursome, with 10 birdies and an eagle over 20 holes.
John Daly won $25,000 on the first hole of the two-day, 18-hole event, then didn't win another skin. Fred Funk, who took the title with a rookie record $925,000 last year, was shut out in his second try.
Rose wins Australian Masters
Melbourne, Australia - England's Justin Rose won the Australian Masters for his first victory in four years, shooting a 1-over 73 for a two-stroke victory over Australia's Richard Green.
Rose had a 12-under 276 total on the Huntingdale Golf Club course in the event co-sanctioned by the Australasian and European tours. Green finished with a 69.
World Open has photo finish
Kochi, Japan - India's Jeev Milkha Singh won the Casio World Open, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over New Zealand's David Smail.
Singh, a two-time winner this year on European tour, had a 16-under 272 total on the Kuroshio Country Club course. Smail finished with a 68.
On Friday, Michelle Wie missed the cut by 19 strokes. She shot 81-80.
NASCAR lands new sponsor
Charlotte, N.C. - Banking on NASCAR fans' sponsor loyalty to drive more retail business to their ATMs and branches, Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. has signed a five-year deal as the official bank of the popular racing series.
The multiyear deal greatly expands Bank of America's sponsorship of stock-car racing, while also marking a change in how NASCAR lines up sponsors. NASCAR has begun to reduce its sponsor base by consolidating deals and seeking opportunities to cover entire industries in one deal.
Bank of America already has an "official bank" deal in place with baseball, long known as the national pastime.
Austrians continue to roll
Aspen, Colo. - Olympic bronze medalist Marlies Schild won her second straight World Cup slalom Sunday to lead another 1-2 Austrian finish, with Nicole Hosp the runner-up again.
Orioles set to sign Baez
Baltimore - The Baltimore Orioles have struck out to this point in adding a slugger to the middle of their lineup, but they are having no such problems in overhauling their bullpen.
Club sources told the Baltimore Sun that the Orioles have agreed in principal to a three-year deal with Atlanta Braves free-agent reliever Danys Baez, who will join recent acquisition Jamie Walker as one of Chris Ray's primary set-up men.
Baez's deal hinges on the right-hander's passing a physical, which could happen as early as Monday. It is believed the Orioles will pay between $5 million and $6 million per season for the 29-year-old pitcher,
Spanish champion killed
Brussels, Belgium - World track cycling champion Isaac Galvez of Spain, a runner-up in a Tour de France stage last summer, died after crashing during a six-day track race in Ghent. He was 31.
Galvez died Saturday night after crashing against the railing during the next-to-last day of the Madison competition, event organizer Rob Discart said. Galvez, who raced for the Caisse d'Epargne team, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.