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Pete Carroll

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Title: Pete Carroll  
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Subject: USC Trojans football, Chip Kelly, List of Pacific-12 Conference football champions, 2010 Seattle Seahawks season, Seattle Seahawks
Collection: 1951 Births, American Football Safeties, American People of Croatian Descent, American People of Irish Descent, Arkansas Razorbacks Football Coaches, Buffalo Bills Coaches, College of Marin Alumni, Iowa State Cyclones Football Coaches, Junior College Football Players in the United States, Living People, Minnesota Vikings Coaches, Nc State Wolfpack Football Coaches, New England Patriots Head Coaches, New York Jets Coaches, New York Jets Head Coaches, Ohio State Buckeyes Football Coaches, Pacific Tigers Football Coaches, Pacific Tigers Football Players, Players of American Football from California, San Francisco 49Ers Coaches, Seattle Seahawks Head Coaches, Sportspeople from San Francisco, California, Usc Trojans Football Coaches
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Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll
Carroll in 2014
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Seattle Seahawks
Personal information
Date of birth (1951-09-15) September 15, 1951
Place of birth San Francisco, California[1]
Career information
College Pacific
High school Larkspur (CA) Redwood
Career highlights
Awards See Below
Head coaching record
Regular season 83–61 (.576)
Postseason 8–5 (.615)
Super Bowl wins Super Bowl XLVIII
Championships won 2003 and 2004 AP National Championships
Coaching stats Pro Football Reference
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1969–1970 Marin
1971–1972 Pacific
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1973–1976 Pacific (GA)
1977 Arkansas (GA)
1978 Iowa State (SC)
1979 Ohio State (SC)
1980–1982 North Carolina State (DC)
1983 Pacific (OC)
1984 Buffalo Bills (DC)
1985–1989 Minnesota Vikings (DC)
1990–1993 New York Jets (DC)
1994 New York Jets
1995–1996 San Francisco 49ers (DC)
1997–1999 New England Patriots
2001–2009 USC
2010–present Seattle Seahawks

Peter Clay "Pete" Carroll (born September 15, 1951) is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He is a former head coach of the New York Jets, the New England Patriots, and the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans. Carroll is one of only three football coaches who have won both a Super Bowl and a college football national championship (the others being Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer).[2]


  • Early life 1
  • College 2
  • Coaching career 3
    • Collegiate assistant (1973–1983) 3.1
    • National Football League (1984–1999) 3.2
    • USC Trojans (2000–2009) 3.3
      • Hiring 3.3.1
      • Tenure 3.3.2
      • Accomplishments 3.3.3
    • NCAA sanctions 3.4
      • NCAA ruling 3.4.1
      • Reactions 3.4.2
    • Seattle Seahawks (2010–present) 3.5
  • Head coaching record 4
    • National Football League 4.1
    • College 4.2
  • Coaching tree 5
  • Personal awards 6
    • 2003 6.1
    • 2004 6.2
    • 2005 6.3
    • 2006 6.4
    • 2014 6.5
  • Coaching style 7
  • Philanthropy 8
    • Work with children 8.1
  • Personal life 9
  • See also 10
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • Other sources 13
  • External links 14

Early life

Born in San Francisco, California, Carroll is the son of Rita (née Bann) and James Edward "Jim" Carroll. Two of his paternal great-grandparents were Irish immigrants, and his maternal grandparents were Croatians who emigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[3] Carroll attended Redwood High School in Larkspur. After being an athlete in childhood, his lack of physical growth as a teenager caused him frustration in high school sports; weighing 110 pounds (50 kg) as an incoming freshman, he was required to bring a special doctor's clearance in order to try out for football. He was a multi-sport star in football (playing quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back), basketball, and baseball, earning the school's Athlete of the Year award as a senior in 1969; forty years later he was inducted into the charter class of the Redwood High School Athletic Hall of Fame in April 2009.[4]


After high school, Carroll attended junior college at the nearby College of Marin, where he played football for two years (lettering in his second year), before transferring to the University of the Pacific,[5] where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.[6] At Pacific, Carroll played free safety for two years for the Tigers, earning All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference honors both years (1971–72) and earning his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1973.[5]

After graduation, Carroll tried out for the Honolulu Hawaiians of the World Football League at their training camp in Riverside but did not make the team due to shoulder problems combined with his small size.[7][8] To make ends meet, he found a job selling roofing materials in the Bay Area, but he found he wasn't good at it and soon moved on; it would be his only non-football-related job.[8]

Coaching career

Collegiate assistant (1973–1983)

Carroll's energetic and positive personality made a good impression on his head coach, Chester Caddas. When Caddas found out Carroll was interested in coaching, he offered him a job as a graduate assistant on his staff at Pacific.[5] Carroll agreed and enrolled as a graduate student, earning a secondary teaching credential and Master's degree in physical education in 1976, while serving as a graduate assistant for three years and working with the wide receivers and secondary defenders. The assistants at Pacific during this time included a number of other future successful coaches, including Greg Robinson, Jim Colletto, Walt Harris, Ted Leland, and Bob Cope.[5] He was inducted into the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.

After graduating from Pacific, Carroll's colleague Bob Cope was hired by the University of Arkansas and he convinced Lou Holtz, then the head coach of the Razorbacks, to also hire Carroll.[5] Carroll spent the 1977 season as a graduate assistant working with the secondary under Cope, making $182 a month.[9] During his season with Arkansas, he met his future offensive line coach Pat Ruel, also a graduate assistant, as well as the future head coach of the Razorbacks Houston Nutt, who was a backup quarterback. Arkansas' Defensive Coordinator at the time, Monte Kiffin, would be a mentor to Carroll; Carroll's wife Glena would help babysit Monte's two-year-old son Lane Kiffin, who would later become Carroll's offensive coordinator at USC and then head coach of the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Volunteers, and the head coach of USC.[9] The Razorbacks won the 1978 Orange Bowl that season.

The following season, Carroll moved to Iowa State University, where he was again an assistant working on the secondary under Earle Bruce.[5] When Bruce moved on to Ohio State University, he brought Carroll, who acted as an assistant coach in charge of the secondary. The Ohio State squad made it to the 1980 Rose Bowl where they lost to USC.

When Monte Kiffin was named Head Coach of North Carolina State University, he brought Carroll in as his defensive coordinator and secondary coach. In 1983, Cope became head coach of Pacific and brought Carroll on as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.[5]

National Football League (1984–1999)

Carroll left Pacific after a year and entered the NFL in 1984 as the defensive backs coach of the Buffalo Bills. The next year, he moved onto the Minnesota Vikings where he held a similar position for five seasons (1985–89).[8] In 1989, he was a candidate for the head coaching position at Stanford University; the position went to Dennis Green.[10] His success with the Vikings led to his hiring by the New York Jets, where he served as defensive coordinator under Bruce Coslet for four seasons (1990–93). When there was an opening for the Vikings' head coach position in 1992, he was a serious candidate but lost the position, again to Green.[8]

In 1994, Carroll was elevated to head coach of the Jets. Known for energy and youthful enthusiasm, Carroll painted a basketball court in the parking lot of the team's practice facility where he and his assistant coaches regularly played three-on-three games during their spare time.[11] The Jets got off to a 6–5 start under Carroll, but in week 12, he was the victim of Dan Marino's "clock play"—a fake spike that became a Miami Dolphins game-winning touchdown. The Jets lost all of their remaining games to finish 6–10. He was fired after one season.[11][12]

Carroll was hired for the next season by the San Francisco 49ers, where he served as defensive coordinator for the following two seasons (1995–96). His return to success as the defensive coordinator led to his hiring as the head coach of the New England Patriots in 1997, replacing coach Bill Parcells, who had resigned after disputes with the team's ownership. His 1997 Patriots team won the AFC East division title, but his subsequent two teams did not fare as well—losing in the wild card playoff round in 1998, and missing the playoffs after a late-season slide in 1999—and he was fired after the 1999 season. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said firing Carroll was one of the toughest decisions he has had to make since buying the team, stating "A lot of things were going on that made it difficult for him to stay, some of which were out of his control. And it began with following a legend."[11] His combined NFL record as a head coach was 33–31, and he was later considered a much better fit for college football than the NFL after his success at USC.[13]

Even though several NFL teams approached him with defensive coordinator positions, Carroll instead spent the 2000 season as a consultant for pro and college teams, doing charitable work for the NFL, and writing a column about pro football for[10][14]

USC Trojans (2000–2009)


Carroll giving an interview after a fall practice in 2008

Carroll was named the Trojans' head coach on December 15, 2000, signing a five-year contract after USC had gone through a tumultuous 18-day search to replace fired coach Paul Hackett.[15][16][17] He was not the Trojans' first choice, and was considered a long shot as the USC Athletic Department under Director Mike Garrett initially planned to hire a high-profile coach with recent college experience.[18] Meanwhile Carroll, who had not coached in over a year and not coached in the college ranks since 1983, drew unfavorable comparisons to the outgoing Hackett.[17][19][20]

USC first pursued then Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson, who instead signed a contract extension with the Beavers; then Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, who similarly signed an extension.[18] The search then moved to the San Diego Chargers coach Mike Riley, who had been an assistant coach at USC before later becoming the head coach of Oregon State. Stuck in contractual obligations to the Chargers (who were still in the midst of an NFL season) and hesitating about moving his family, Riley was unable to give a firm answer, opening an opportunity for Carroll, the school's fourth choice.[18][20]

Carroll actively pursued the position, as his daughter, Jaime, was then a player on the school's successful volleyball team.[18] After the first three primary candidates turned down the position, USC hired Carroll. Under Garrett, USC had tried to recruit Carroll to be their head coach in 1997, while he was coaching the Patriots, but Carroll was unable to take the position.[16] The second time the opening came up, Daryl Gross, then senior associate athletic director for USC, recommended Carroll to Garrett based on his experience as a former scout for the New York Jets while Carroll coached there.[21][22] Garrett cited Carroll's intelligence, energy and reputation as a defensive specialist as reasons for his hire.[16]

The choice of Carroll for USC's head coaching position was openly criticized by the media and many USC fans, primarily because of USC's stagnation under the outgoing Hackett and Carroll's record as a head coach in the NFL and being nearly two decades removed from the college level.[16][19][21][23][24][25] Garrett took particular criticism for the hire, with the press tying his future with Carroll's after he had to fire two head coaches in four years for USC's premiere athletic coaching position.[26] Former NFL players (including USC alumni), such as Ronnie Lott, Gary Plummer, Tim McDonald and Willie McGinest offered their support for Carroll, who they noted had a player-friendly, easygoing style that might suit the college game and particularly recruiting.[11][16][20] The USC Athletic Department received 2,500 e-mails, faxes and phone calls from alumni—mostly critical—and a number of donors asking for Carroll's removal before they would donate again.

Within a year of his hiring, many prominent critics, reversed course.[21][27] In 2008, named Carroll's hiring number 1 in a list of the Pac-10's top ten moments of the BCS era.[28]


The criticism of Pete Carroll became louder when Carroll's first USC team opened the 2001 season going 2–5, with some sportswriters writing off the once-dominant Trojans, who were the only Pac-10 football team to never finish in the national top 10 during the previous decade, as a dying program.[23][29] However, after the slow start, Carroll's teams proceeded to go 67–7 over the next 74 games, winning two national championships and playing for another.

Carroll was considered one of the most effective recruiters in college football, having brought in multiple top-ranked recruiting classes;[30][31] he was also known for getting commitments from nationally prominent players early in high school.[32] His son, Brennan Carroll, was USC's recruiting coordinator as well as the tight ends coach during the elder Carroll's tenure as head coach.[32] He had consistently been on the forefront of recruiting due to his ability to connect with potential players on their level, including becoming the first college coach with a Facebook page, as well as an early adopter of Twitter.[33][34]

Carroll leads his team through the "Trojan Walk", a tradition he created at USC in 2001.

Carroll's team won a then school-record 34 straight games from 2003 to 2005, a streak that started after a triple-overtime loss to California and ended with the national championship game against the Texas Longhorns in the 2006 Rose Bowl. Fourteen of those games were later vacated for breaking NCAA rules. During his tenure, USC broke its average home attendance record four times in a row (they play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum); the USC home attendance average in 2001, his first season, was 57,744; by 2006 it was over 91,000. During this period, USC had a 35-game winning streak at the Coliseum, spanning 6 years, after a 21–26 loss to the Stanford Cardinal on Sept. 29, 2001 (during Carroll's first year) through a 24–23 loss to a 41-point underdog Stanford team on Oct. 6, 2007. The success of USC football under Carroll led to a sharp rise in overall athletic department revenue, growing from $38.6 million in Carroll's first season at USC to more than $76 million in 2007–08.[35]

Controversy arose when USC was excluded from the National Championship in 2003. However, they only held a share of the Pac-10 title with the Washington State Cougars, whom they lost to that year in overtime. In explaining why he allegedly didn't care about earning a spot in the 2003 National Championship Game, Carroll noted "We can only control getting to the Rose Bowl. [...] Our goal isn't about national championships, because we don't have control of that – that's in somebody else's hands. We found that out years ago [2003], when we were No. 1 but then we were No. 3." [36]

Carroll was repeatedly approached regarding vacant head coach positions in the NFL beginning in 2002.[10][37][38][39] Carroll hesitated to return to the NFL after his previous experiences, and said that his return would likely rest on control over personnel matters at a level unprecedented in the league. He had insisted over the years that he was happy at USC and that money was not an issue; he also was said to enjoy the Southern California lifestyle.[40] When asked if he would retire at USC, Carroll responded:

I am prepared to do that. That's the way I look at it, like this is the last job I'm ever going to have. I approach it that way. Now, whether it is or not, I don't know. Someone asked me the other day, 'Does that mean you're never going to leave?' Why do people want to make you say that? I have no idea, but I can't imagine doing anything else. It's a great place to be. I've been so lucky and fortunate. I owe so much to the school and the people who follow it. And the guys who played for us. I love being here.[41]

When originally hired, Carroll signed a five-year contract worth approximately $1 million annually. He received a significant raise after the 2002 season and earned close to $3 million in the 2004 season, which ended with USC winning the BCS title in January 2005. He agreed to a contract extension in December 2005.[35] His total compensation, including pay and benefits, for the 2007 fiscal year was $4,415,714.[42]

On January 11, 2010, it was reported that Carroll would be leaving USC to coach the Seattle Seahawks. Carroll had told his players the previous evening that he would be resigning his position with the Trojans to become the new head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. According to the Los Angeles Times, Carroll came to agreement with the Seahawks on a 5-year $33 million contract to become head coach.[43]


Pete Carroll talking to a pro scout before a game; during his tenure, 53 USC players were drafted by the NFL.

As head coach, Pete Carroll led a resurgence of football at the University of Southern California. Carroll was generally regarded as one of top college football coaches in the country,[31][44][45] and has been compared to College Football Hall of Fame coach Knute Rockne.[46][47] Program highlights under Carroll include:

In July 2007, named USC its #1 team of the decade for the period between 1996 and 2006, primarily citing the Trojans' renaissance and dominance under Carroll.[49][50] In 2007, his effect on the college football landscape was named one of the biggest developments over the past decade in ESPN the Magazine.[51] In May 2008, Carroll was named the coach who did the most to define the first 10 years of the BCS Era.[52]

In July 2014, Carroll was announced as a member of the 2015 USC Athletic Hall of Fame class.

NCAA sanctions

See University of Southern California athletics scandal.

NCAA ruling

On June 9, 2010, The Los Angeles Times reported that Carroll, along with other active and former USC officials, had appeared in front of a ten-member NCAA Committee on Infractions the previous February.[53] The next day, June 10, the NCAA announced sanctions against the USC football program including a two-year bowl ban, the elimination of thirty football scholarships, and forfeiture of some football victories from 2004–05 (a season which had included winning the Bowl Championship Series title), and all team victories from the undefeated 2005–06 regular season, when USC lost to Texas in the BCS title game.[54] With the vacated games removed, Carroll drops to fourth on USC's all-time wins list, behind John McKay, Howard Jones and John Robinson. His 97 on-field wins would put him ahead of Robinson for third in Trojan history.

The allegations centered on former Trojan star

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ralph Hawkins
New York Jets Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Greg Robinson
Preceded by
Ray Rhodes
San Francisco 49ers Defensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
John Marshall

External links

  • Player Bio: Pete Carroll, USC Athletic Department, Accessed Aug. 3, 2006.
  • Neil Hayes, Carroll Exceeds All Expectations, Contra Costa Times, Nov. 10, 2005, Page b01.
  • Stewart Mandell, For Pete's sake: Carroll spurs USC's quick rise back to national prominence,, Dece. 30, 2003.

Other sources

  1. ^ a b "Player Bio: Pete Carroll". University of Southern California Official Athletic Site. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  2. ^ Willis, George (February 1, 2014) "Carrol Could Join Rare Company with Super Bowl Title". New York Post. (Retrieved January 27, 2015.)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Adam Rose, Pete Carroll: The high school years,, April 8, 2009, Accessed April 10, 2009; Pete Carroll, 1969, Redwood High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Jason Anderson, Pete's party began at Pacific , The Record, August 2, 2006.
  6. ^ Facts and History, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Mike Sager, Big Balls Pete Carroll, Esquire, September 11, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Whicker, Mark (September 2, 2005). "More than a passing fancy". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b Rhett Bollinger, Back where they started, Daily Trojan, August 31, 2006
  10. ^ a b c J A. Adande, Rah-Rah Material, Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2002. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d Sam Farmer, Spirit of Carroll Also Haunting Him, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  12. ^ See also Eskenazi, Gerald (1998) – GANG GREEN: An Irreverent Look Behind The Scenes At Thirty-Eight (well, Thirty-Seven) Seasons Of New York Jets Football Futility (New York: Simon & Schuster)
  13. ^ NFL Top 10 – Coaches who belonged in college
  14. ^ a b Profile: Pete Carroll, USC Athletic Department.
  15. ^ Bill Plaschke, Another USC Turnover, Los Angeles Times, November 28, 2000. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
  16. ^ a b c d e David Wharton, USC Goes Carrolling, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  17. ^ a b David Wharton, Trojans, Carroll Keep Talking, Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  18. ^ a b c d David Wharton, All Signs Point to Carroll, Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  19. ^ a b Bill Plaschke, For Pete's Sake, USC, Why Did You Do It?, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  20. ^ a b c Chris Dufresne, Timing Isn’t Entirely on Carroll’s Side, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  21. ^ a b c Bill Plaschke, Sorry, Pete, We Were Wrong, Los Angeles Times, December 30, 2003. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  22. ^ a b c d e Michael Sokolove, Happiness Is a Warm Football Coach, The New York Times, November 2, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2009.
  23. ^ a b Tom Dienhart, Carroll's hiring is another mistake for troubled USC, The Sporting News, January 1, 2001.
  24. ^ "Pete Carroll Letters: Initial Reaction Could Be Better", Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2000.
  25. ^ Larry Stewart, You Don’t Have to Be a USC Alum to Hate This Hire, Los Angeles Times, December 18, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  26. ^ J A. Adande, Now Garrett’s Back Is Against the Wallet, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  27. ^ Bill Plaschke, It Didn’t Take Long for the Fight to Get Knocked Out of Bruins, Los Angeles Times, November 18, 2001. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
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  29. ^ Bill Plaschke, Westwood, Ho!, Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2000. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  30. ^ a b Bryan Curtis, Field Marshall, Men's Vogue, October 2007.
  31. ^ a b Ted Miller, Pac-10 coaching rankings: Carroll on top,, August 6, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  32. ^ a b Mike Farrel, Times are a-changin',, June 15, 2007
  33. ^ Andy Staples, Wall-to-wall with Pete Carroll,, March 6, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  34. ^ Ted Miller, Breaking news!,, February 17, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  35. ^ a b Gary Klein, USC's Pete Carroll tops national salary list, Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
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  42. ^ Jeffery Brainard, The Biggest Campus Paycheck May Not Be the President's, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
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  46. ^ Mike Celizic, Carroll could be the next Rockne, Associated Press, August 2, 2007.
  47. ^ Mike Lopresti, A few legends might enjoy success of Carroll's Trojans, USA TODAY, August 24, 2007.
  48. ^ Adam Rose, USC Trojans in the NFL: 2009 draft recap,, April 27, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  49. ^ Ivan Maisel, Carroll's coaching propels USC to top of decade ranking,, July 27, 2007.
  50. ^ Storied programs dominate Ladder 119's top rungs,, July 27, 2007.
  51. ^ Bruce Feldman, Major programs have implemented the spread offense, ESPN the Magazine, September 24, 2007.
  52. ^ Mark Schlabach, Carroll, Tressel helped define first 10 years of BCS era,, May 21, 2008, Accessed May 21, 2008.
  53. ^ a b Klein, Gary (June 9, 2010). "NCAA hands USC two-year bowl game ban, major scholarship reduction in football". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  54. ^ Klein, Gary (June 10, 2010). "NCAA hits USC with severe penalties". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  55. ^ Jay Bilas, "Anyone know what NCAA's standards are?",, July 1, 2010.
  56. ^ Bryant Gumbel, "Student/Athlete Behavior", Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, September 21, 2010.
  57. ^ Bryan Fischer, " Trojans never stood a chance after taking NCAA's best shot",, May 26, 2011.
  58. ^ Pete Fiutak, "USC paying for NCAA's inconsistency?",, May 26, 2011.
  59. ^ Stewart Mandel, "What USC's sanctions mean for Ohio State",, April 27, 2011.
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  61. ^ "Carroll: Move not result of USC probe". Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
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  67. ^ "Reggie Bush should lose his Heisman; Pete Carroll should lose his job". Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  68. ^ "USC loses Grantland Rice Trophy". Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  69. ^ a b Schefter, Adam (January 9, 2010). "Sources: Seattle, Carroll agree on deal". ESPN 
  70. ^ Mortensen, Chris (January 9, 2010). "Seattle Seahawks fire Jim Mora; Pete Carroll courted, sources say". ESPN. 
  71. ^ Bishop, Greg (2012-09-25). "Absurd Ending Fuels Disgust With Replacement Refs". (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  72. ^ Seifert, Kevin (2012-09-25). "Rapid Reaction: Seahawks 14, Packers 12". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  73. ^ "Seattle Seahawks wins Super Bowl for first time in its history". CNN. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  74. ^ "Pete Carroll NFL Record, Statistics, and Category Ranks". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  75. ^ a b * As a result of the 2011 NCAA sanctions imposed on Southern Cal because of the ineligibility of Reggie Bush, two of the Trojans' victories were vacated, including one Pac-10 conference victory and their Orange Bowl victory.
  76. ^ * As a result of action taken by the BCS presidents' oversight committee on June 6, 2011, the Trojans' BCS Championship has been vacated. No successor champion was designated, and there is no BCS champion for the 2004–2005 college football season.
  77. ^ ‡ As of June 7, 2011, USC still retains the  
  78. ^ a b * As a result of the 2011 NCAA sanctions imposed on Southern Cal because of the ineligibility of Reggie Bush, all twelve of the Trojans' regular season victories were vacated, including eight Pac-10 conference victories. Their Rose Bowl loss is unaffected.
  79. ^ "Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award". ASAMA - The American Sport Art Museum and Archives. Retrieved 6 Oct 2012. 
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  81. ^ Pat Forde, Coaches, players embracing trickeration trend,, August 9, 2007.
  82. ^ Adam Rose, All Things Trojan: Salute To Troy: Them's Fight On Words,, August 26, 2007.
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  88. ^ Coach Carroll's April Fool's Joke on YouTube
  89. ^ Dave Albee,Carroll Chronicles: Celebrities love to practice with Pete, Marin Independent Journal, August 29, 2007.
  90. ^ Rhett Bollinger, White's prank put scare into USC, Daily Trojan, November 1, 2005, Accessed May 4, 2008.
  91. ^ Ted Miller, Griffen ready to leave his mark on Pac-10 QBs,, May 2, 2008, Accessed May 4, 2008.
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  94. ^ 8 Ways Pete Carroll Cultivates Champions, SUCCESS Magazine, July 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  95. ^ David Wharton, USC football practices are a draw, Los Angeles Times, August 11, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
  96. ^ Ben Malcolmson, The USCRipsIt Practice Primer, USCRipsIt/, August 6, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
  97. ^ Ben Malcolmson, A numbers game, USCRipsIt/, August 12, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
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  103. ^ Jill Painter, For USC coach Carroll, coaching is part fun and sun, Los Angeles Daily News, August 12, 2007.
  104. ^ USC Football Riding 10-Game Win Streak Hosts Hawaii For First Time Since 1930, USC Athletic Department, September 8, 2003
  105. ^ Pete Carroll, post, Twitter, February 23, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  106. ^ Pete Carroll, post, Twitter, February 25, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  107. ^ a b Profile: Brennan Carroll, USC Athletic Department.
  108. ^ Player Profile: Jaime Carroll, USC Athletic Department.



See also

Carroll lives in Hunts Point, WA. His neighbors include former CEO and co-founder of Costco, Jim Sinegal, and former Microsoft CEO and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Ballmer.

Carroll is a celebrity "Deadhead".

Carroll is an avid water sports enthusiast, with a passion for surfing and paddle boarding. He owns a vacation home in Southern California that he frequents in the offseason to partake in both activities.

Carroll's wife Glena (née Goranson) played indoor volleyball at the University of the Pacific.[103] Together they have three children: elder son Brennan, daughter Jaime, and younger son Nathan.[104] Through Brennan and his wife Amber, he has one grandchild, Dillon Brennan Carroll.[105][106] Brennan Carroll played tight end at the University of Pittsburgh after transferring from University of Delaware; he graduated from Pitt in 2001 and joined his father as a graduate assistant (he is now an assistant coach).[107] Jaime Carroll started attending USC in the fall of 2000, several months before her father was hired as football coach, she was a player on the Women of Troy's women's volleyball team.[108] Nathan Carroll graduated from USC with a bachelor's degree in May 2010.[14] In 2010, Nathan joined his father Pete as an Assistant for the Seahawks. Carroll's late father-in-law, Dean Goranson, graduated with a Master's degree from USC.[107] His older brother, Jim Carroll, played tackle at Pacific, operated a few businesses in the upper Midwest, and is now retired in Phoenix, Arizona.[8]

Personal life

In April 2009, Pete Carroll launched, a multi-player online game "billed as a ground-breaking Web site aimed at bringing Coach Carroll's unique Win Forever philosophy to kids all over the country by taking advantage of one of the hottest technology trends online, the virtual world."[100] The site, which can be accessed by creating a virtual avatar includes arcade-style games, motivational messages from Coach Carroll and a sports trivia section as well as a collection of virtual football skills workshops for kids.[101] A portion of the proceeds from will go to support A Better LA.[98][102]

Work with children

[99][98] After moving to Los Angeles, Carroll was affected by the number of


Carroll favorably compared college recruiting to any other competition, and enjoys the ability to recruit talent, which he was unable to do in the NFL. He likens being a college head coach to being both the "coach and general manager.[22] He assigned all jersey numbers to his players, an assignment he takes seriously. When he was an incoming freshman at Pacific, he wanted No. 40, the number he had worn in all sports growing up; however, Pacific had retired the number in honor of quarterback/safety Eddie LeBaron, so Carroll ended up with 46.[97]

Despite his penchant for humor, Carroll's USC program had strictly prescribed routines that covered what players may eat, the vocabulary they used, and the theme of daily practices. Under his tenure, days had descriptive nicknames like Tell the Truth Monday, Competition Tuesday, Turnover Wednesday.[7]

Carroll has been known to plan elaborate surprises and pranks during practice to lighten the mood and reward the players; notable examples include using a Halloween practice to stage a fake argument and subsequent falling death of runningback LenDale White, having a defensive end Everson Griffen arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department during a team meeting for "physically abusing" freshman offensive linemen, and several pranks involving USC alumnus and comedic actor Will Ferrell.[88][89][90][91][92][93] During practices, Carroll frequently gets involved doing drills: running sprints and routes as well as throwing the ball.[22][94] Under Carroll, nearly all USC practices were open to the public, a move that was uncommon among programs; he believed that having fans at practice helped his team prepare, making mundane drills seem more interesting, causing players to perform at a high level when they know they have an audience and preparing them for larger crowds on game days.[95][96]

Carroll is known for his high-energy and often pleasant demeanor when coaching.[22][86][87] In explaining his enthusiasm, Carroll has stated "I always think something good's just about to happen."[30] In a 2005 interview, Carroll explained his motivation:

After he was fired by the New England Patriots, Carroll read a book by former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden which heavily influenced how he would run his future program at USC: emulating Wooden, Carroll decided to engineer his program in the way that best exemplified his personal philosophy. He decided his philosophy was best summarized as "I'm a competitor".[7] As a fan of the Grateful Dead, Carroll then tied Wooden's thoughts into those by Jerry Garcia, and decided that he wanted his football program to not be the best, but the only program following his competitive philosophy.[7]

Carroll draws coaching inspiration from the 1974 book The Inner Game of Tennis, by tennis coach W. Timothy Gallwey, which he picked up as graduate student at the University of the Pacific; he summarizes the philosophy he took from the book as "all about clearing the clutter in the interactions between your conscious and subconscious mind" enabled "through superior practice and a clear approach. Focus, clarity and belief in yourself are what allows [sic] you to express your ability without discursive thoughts and concerns."[85] He wrote a foreword for a later edition, noting that athletes "must clear their minds of all confusion and earn the ability to let themselves play freely."[22] He also cites influences from psychologists Abraham Maslow and Carl Jung, Buddhist meditation master Chögyam Trungpa and Zen master D. T. Suzuki.[7]

On defense, Carroll favors a bend-but-don't-break scheme of preventing the big plays: allowing opposing teams to get small yardage but trying to keep the plays in front of his defenders.[84]

On offense, Carroll is known for using aggressive play-calling that is open to trick plays as well as "going for it" on 4th down instead of punting the ball away.[81] Because of his aggressive style, the USC Band gave him the nickname "Big Balls Pete". At USC home games, when Pete Carroll decided to go for it on 4th down, the USC band would start a chant of "Big Balls Pete" that carried over to the students section and the alumni.[7][82][83]

Coaching style

  • PFWA's Jack Horrigan Award
  • ESPY Award for Best Coach (Nominated)


  • Pac-10 Coach of the Year[80]



  • 2004 National Quarterback Club College Coach of the Year
  • 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year


  • 2003 American Football Coaches Association Division I-A Coach of the Year
  • Home Depot National Coach of the Year
  • Maxwell Club College Coach of the Year
  • National Coach of the Year
  • Pigskin Club of Washington D.C. Coach of the Year
  • All-American Football Foundation Frank Leahy Co-Coach of the Year
  • Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year


Personal awards

Assistant coaches under Pete Carroll who became NFL or NCAA head coaches:

  • Lou Holtz William and Mary Tribe (1969-1971); NC State Wolfpack (1972-1975); New York Jets (1976); Arkansas Razorbacks (1977-1983); Minnesota Golden Gophers (1984-1985); Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1986-1996); South Carolina Gamecocks (1999-2004)
  • Monte Kiffin NC State Wolfpack (1980-1982)
  • Jerry Burns Iowa Hawkeyes (1961-1965); Minnesota Vikings (1986-1991)
  • Earle Bruce Tampa Spartans (1972); Iowa State Cyclones (1973-1978); Ohio State Buckeyes (1979-1987); Colorado State Rams (1989-1992); Iowa Barnstormers (2003); Columbus Destroyers (2004)
  • Kay Stephenson Buffalo Bills (1983-1985); Sacramento Surge (1991-1992); Sacramento Gold Miners (1993-1994); San Antonio Texans (1995); Edmonton Eskimos (1998)
  • George Seifert Westminster Parsons (1965); Cornell Big Red (1975-1976); San Francisco 49ers (1989-1996); Carolina Panthers (1999-2001)
  • Bruce Coslet New York Jets (1990-1993); Cincinnati Bengals (1997-2000)
  • Bud Grant Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1957-1966); Minnesota Vikings (1967-1983, 1985)

Head coaches under whom Pete Carroll has served:

Coaching tree

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
USC Trojans (Pacific-10 Conference) (2001–2009)
2001 USC 6–6 5–3 5th L Las Vegas
2002 USC 11–2 7–1 T–1st W Orange 4 4
2003 USC 12–1 7–1 1st W Rose 2 1
2004 USC 11–0* (13–0)[75] 7–0* (8–0)[75] 1st V (W)*[76] Orange 1‡[77] 1
2005 USC 0–0* (12–1)[78] 0–0* (8–0)[78] 1st L Rose 2 2
2006 USC 11–2 7–2 T–1st W Rose 4 4
2007 USC 11–2 7–2 T–1st W Rose 2 3
2008 USC 12–1 8–1 1st W Rose 2 3
2009 USC 9–4 5–4 T–5th W Emerald 20 22
USC: 83–18 (97–19) 53–14 (62–14)
Total: 83–18
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYJ 1994 6 10 0 .375 5th in AFC East
NYJ Total 6 10 0 .375 - - -
NE 1997 10 6 0 .625 1st in AFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game.
NE 1998 9 7 0 .563 4th in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Jacksonville Jaguars in AFC Wild-Card Game.
NE 1999 8 8 0 .500 5th in AFC East
NE Total 27 21 0 .563 1 2 .333
SEA 2010 7 9 0 .438 1st in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Chicago Bears in NFC Divisional Game.
SEA 2011 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC West
SEA 2012 11 5 0 .688 2nd in NFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Atlanta Falcons in NFC Divisional Game.
SEA 2013 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC West 3 0 1.000 Super Bowl XLVIII Champions
SEA 2014 12 4 0 .750 1st in NFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX
SEA 2015 4 4 0 .500
SEA Total 52 32 0 .619 7 3 .700
Total[74] 84 62 0 .575 8 5 .615

National Football League

Head coaching record

In 2015, Pete Carroll again took Seahawks to Super Bowl XLIX losing to New England Patriots 28-24. With 25 seconds to go on 2nd and goal at the Patriots' 1 yard line, and the Seahawks trailing by 4, Carroll called for a pass play. Wilson's pass was intercepted by Patriots' cornerback, Malcolm Butler, on the goal line, and the Patriots ran out the clock.

On February 2, 2014, Carroll led the Seattle Seahawks to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history after defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII. Carroll joined Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson as the only coaches to win both an NCAA championship and a Super Bowl. At age 62, Carroll is now the third-oldest coach to win a Super Bowl. Tom Coughlin was 65 when his Giants won Super Bowl XLVI. Dick Vermeil was 63 when the St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV.[73]

Pete Carroll embracing Richard Sherman at Super Bowl XLVIII

The Seattle Seahawks 2013 season began with four consecutive preseason wins, and had been distinguished, by oddsmakers, as the conference favorite. The regular season began with a victory at Carolina. The second game, and first played at home, confirmed any doubts about them being a genuine Super Bowl contender. The prior year's NFC Champions, and divisional rival, the San Francisco 49ers, were blown-out by the Seahawks 29-3. Winning out September, they visited the Colts in Indianapolis, and suffered their first loss, on October 6. That was the only loss Carroll, and team, would suffer until December. Heading to San Francisco for their second matchup against divisional foe, the Seahawks were consensus best in NFC, posting an 11-1 record. However, the game was in stark contrast to their first in September. The 49ers edged out a 19-17 win, yet the Seahawk's now 11-2 record was still best in the conference. The penultimate game against the Arizona Cardinals, was Seattle's attempt to continue their at-home winning streak to an incredible 15 games (record started in Week 2 of 2012 season). Although the Seahawks had won their three prior meetings, including one earlier in the year, the Cardinals had steadily improved during the season. The at-home win streak did not reach 15. The Cardinals won, and Seattle suffered its third loss of the year. Their regular season finale, against the St. Louis Rams, established a new at-home streak of one, and Carroll concluded the regular season at 13-3. The number one team (and playoff seed) in the NFC, Carroll matched Mike Holmgren's 2005 season of the same record, tying for the best in Seattle history.

Pete Carroll in the Super Bowl champions parade in Seattle.

Carroll's fourth season, 2013, was his greatest level of success in the professional league. His Seahawks finished the regular season with a sterling 13-3 record, placing them on top of the NFC conference for their first time since 2005. The Seahawks produced an identical record to the '05 team, excelled through the playoffs, and into the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history. The previous year, even explicitly marked with a divisional-round loss, confirmed to the league that they were viable contenders. Carroll's improvements had finally become conspicuous; and Seattle believed, righteously, that its agonizing two-point loss to the Falcons would be avenged.

In his third season in 2012, Carroll, along with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, led the team to an 11-5 record, including going undefeated at home. It was Carroll's first winning season for the team. The Seahawks were also involved in controversy during Week 3's Monday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers in Seattle, when the replacement officials called two different results for Russell Wilson's hail mary pass to Golden Tate. The officials called the play in the Seahawks' favor, igniting a national outrage about the officiating.[71][72] The game was later seen as a catalyst for ending the referee lockout. Carroll's record was enough to post the team's second playoff berth, and the Seahawks won their wildcard round playoff game on the road against the Washington Redskins, 24-14. Seattle lost the following week in the divisional round to the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 30-28.

In 2011, Carroll again coached the Seahawks to a 7-9 record, but it was not enough to secure a playoff spot due to the ascendance of Carroll's old college rival coach Jim Harbaugh and division rival San Francisco 49ers.

In his first season, Carroll almost completely overturned the Seahawks roster, totaling over 200 transactions in the course of only one season. However, these moves paved the way for a 4–2 start to the 2010 season. Although Seattle faltered through the latter half of the season, the team beat the division rival Rams in the final week of the regular season for the NFC West championship, becoming the first 7–9 team in NFL history to win a division title. Carroll made even more history as the Seahawks later upset the then-Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints during the wild card round of the playoffs, behind Marshawn Lynch and the famed Beast Quake. However, they then fell to the Chicago Bears, whom they had defeated earlier in the season.

After the Seattle Seahawks fired head coach Jim L. Mora after one season, Carroll was rumored to be in the running for the job.[69] On January 8, 2010, it was reported that Carroll was about to be hired as head coach of the Seahawks; the two parties were hammering out "minor details" in the pending contract.[70] According to the Los Angeles Times, Carroll was "close to reaching an agreement with the Seattle Seahawks on Friday evening".[43] On the morning of January 9, 2010, Carroll reportedly came to agreement with the Seahawks on a 5-year contract that would appoint him as head coach.[69] He was officially hired as the Seahawks head coach on January 11.[43] He was also named executive vice president of football operations, effectively making him the Seahawks' general manager as well. While the Seahawks have a general manager in John Schneider, he serves mainly in an advisory role to Carroll, who has the final say in football matters. In fact, Schneider was actually hired by Carroll—a rare case of the head coach hiring the general manager. He is one of three current NFL coaches who also have the title or powers of general manager, along with the Patriots' Bill Belichick and Philadelphia Eagles' Chip Kelly.

Seattle Seahawks (2010–present)

On August 26, 2010, the Football Writers Association of America announced it would take back USC's 2004 Grantland Rice Trophy and leave that year's award vacant, the only vacancy in the over half century of the history of the award. The FWAA also said it would not consider USC as a candidate for the award for the 2010 season. New USC athletic director Pat Haden said USC would return the trophy, stating "While we know that some fans and former student-athletes may be disappointed, our central priority at this time is our overall commitment to compliance and this action is in line with the standards we have set for our entire athletic program."[68]

Sporting News writer Mike Florio called for the Seahawks to fire Carroll, saying that "justice won't truly be served until the only coaching Carroll ever does entails holding an Xbox controller."[67]

from a coach who presided over the greatest days in USC football history to one who was in charge of its biggest embarrassment. He goes from saint to scallywag. Carroll says he didn't know about the Bush violations. That now seems impossible... ...he made $33 million from violations that will cost his old school its reputation, and folks here will never look at him the same."[66]

Among Carroll's critics in the media was longtime Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke, who said that in one stroke, Carroll went

Wrote Los Angeles Times sportswriter Jerry Crowe, "It's somehow apt that the Trojans were asked to return the Grantland Rice Trophy after being stripped of the 2004 Football Writers Assn. of America national championship... Grantland Rice was the legendary early 20th century sportswriter who wrote, 'When the great scorer comes/to mark against your name/He'll write not 'won' or 'lost'/but how you played the game.'"[65]


Reacting to the USC sanctions in a video produced by his new employers, Carroll said on June 10, 2010 "I'm absolutely shocked and disappointed in the findings of the NCAA."[62] He said in 2014 during a visit to USC, "I thought (the NCAA's investigation into USC) was dealt with poorly and very irrationally and done with way too much emotion instead of facts. I sat in the meetings. I listened to the people talk. I listened to the venom that they had for our program... They tried to make it out like it was something else. They made a terrible error."[63] In 2015 he said, "“We had so much success and we had so much fun doing it, it was uncommon for people to understand. ... I think it rubbed people the wrong way. There was such a bitterness.”[64]

After Carroll announced that he was leaving for the Seahawks, he had denied the possibility of the NCAA sanctions was a factor in his leaving USC to return to pro football in Seattle. "Not in any way," Carroll stated. "Because I know where we stand. It's just a process we have to go through. We know we've fought hard to do right."[61]


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