Tony Amato wasn’t the first Rollins College soccer player to double as Edgewater High School’s JV boys coach. The job was a way for players to make a couple hundred bucks in the offseason while teaching Orlando teens.

Amato, though, might have been the first Tars player to obsess over it.

“I wouldn’t fall asleep at night because I was thinking about the JV boys team and how we were going to be better,” he said Wednesday.

“I was coaching an under-10 team, too, and I had the same hunger to make those kids better.

“I thought, ‘Man, if I could do this as a career …’ ”

After graduating in 2000, he began officiating spring scrimmages for Rollins’ Division II women’s team. That turned into a $3,000-a-year assistant gig.

By the fall of 2003, he was running the team.

Read more about Tony Amato in Thursday's Arizona Daily Star.