PETE CARROLL - SEATTLE SEAHAWKS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH
One of only three coaches to win a Super Bowl and college football national championship, Pete Carroll is in his seventh year as head coach and executive vice president of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks following one of the most successful runs in the college football history while at USC. With his unique “Always Compete” philosophy and approach, Carroll has a combined 42 years of highly decorated NFL and collegiate coaching experience.
So far in his six seasons with the Seahawks, Carroll has guided Seattle to two consecutive Super Bowl appearances, three NFC West division titles, and five playoff berths, including one of the most dominant performances in Super Bowl history — a 43-8 victory in February 2014 over the Broncos, the NFL’s most prolific offense of all time. He has been at the helm of a complete turnaround and rebuilding effort of a franchise that features great hope for the future, including a top-ranked defense and an exhilarating offense.
Named head coach on January 11, 2010, Carroll became the Seahawks’ eighth head coach after one of the most successful tenures in college football history during his nine years at USC, where he went 97-19, captured seven straight Pac-10 titles, and won two national championships. He was named college football’s coach of the decade in 2009.
Carroll has 22 years of NFL coaching experience and 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, but he’s also widely known for his passion for the community. In the last decade, he founded A Better LA and A Better Seattle, initiatives that aim to reduce youth and gang violence through an innovative collaborative model. In 2013, Carroll led the charge to bring to the U.S. for the first time Free The Children’s We Day, an annual stadium-sized event with world-renowned speakers and performers coupled with year-long program that supports, empowers and equips youth with educational resources and campaigns to take action on the local and global issues they care about. We Days now take place in three countries and 15 cities (four in the U.S.). Carroll also has a heart for sharing his philosophy and approach with other leaders and coaches, which was the impetus for starting the WinForever, a consulting company that works with a limited portfolio of Fortune 500 leaders to develop high-level performing teams and individuals within their companies.
In 2012, his third season with the Seahawks, Carroll led the squad’s surge to become the hottest team in the NFL when Seattle won 7 of its final 8 regular season games to reach the playoffs for the second time in three years. The Seahawks became the first team since 1950 to score 50-plus points in back-to-back games when they won 58-0 and 50-17 in December, before closing out the campaign with an 11-5 record and a playoff win at Washington. Carroll was named NFC Coach of the Year at the 101 Awards and he finished third in the AP Coach of the Year voting.
In his second season in Seattle in 2011, Carroll spearheaded a total overhaul of the roster to build a rock-solid foundation for the future. Although the Seahawks finished with a 7-9 record, they won five-of-six in the second half of the season and developed an identity of toughness and enthusiasm to provide great hope for the coming years.
In his first season with the Seahawks in 2010, he guided Seattle to an NFC West division title and a thrilling 41-36 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs. While the Seahawks ended their run with a 35-24 loss to the Chicago Bears in the divisional round of the playoffs, the team showed great promise for the future after its first division crown since 2007 and a special mix of veteran and young talent.
Carroll returned to the NFL after spending the previous nine years (2001-09) as head coach at USC, where he won seven consecutive Pac-10 titles (2002-08), two national championships (2003-04) and led the Trojans to a 97-19 record. He reached a bowl in each of his nine seasons and won seven. His 88 victories from 2001 to 2008 tied Bob Pruett of Marshall for most by a Division I coach in their first eight seasons since 1900 (Penn’s George Woodruff – 102). He reached 50 career USC wins faster than any head coach in Trojan history. From 2002-08, his teams appeared in an NCAA-record seven consecutive BCS bowls, recorded at least 11 victories (an NCAA record) and finished ranked in the AP Top 4. USC was AP’s No. 1 team for a national-record 33 straight polls (including two preseason polls) and was ranked in the AP Top 10 for a school-record 63 consecutive games. His teams were ranked in the AP Top 25 for 102 consecutive games, a school record. In 2009, he was named Coach of the Decade by Lindy’s.
Also under Carroll, USC was the first school to have three Heisman Trophy winners in a four-year span (Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush). He has also coached winners of the Walter Camp, Chuck Bednarik, Johnny Unitas, Doak Walker and John Mackey Awards. Carroll produced 34 All-American first-teamers and 53 NFL draft picks (including 14 first-rounders, with a No. 1 selection in Carson Palmer and a No. 2 in Reggie Bush). His USC program had the nation’s most draftees in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
USC posted a 12-1 record in 2008 and advanced to its fourth-consecutive Rose Bowl, defeating Penn State, 38-24, to become the first team to win three straight Rose Bowls. In the polls, the Trojans finished ranked second by USA Today and third by AP. USC finished first in scoring defense (9.8 ppg, its finest in 41 years), surrendering just 14 touchdowns in 2008.
In 2007, USC went 11-2 and finished second in the USA Today poll and third in the AP poll, for its sixth AP Top 4 ranking in a row. Its 49-17 win over Illinois in the Rose Bowl equaled the most points ever in the bowl game. Five players were named All-American first teamers.
In 2006, USC went 11-2, finished No. 4 in the final polls and shared the Pac-10 title at 7-2 to capture an unprecedented fifth straight league crown. Five Trojans were All-American first teamers and Carroll was named the 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year (for the third time).
In 2005, his Trojans held AP’s No. 1 ranking for the entire regular season. USC went 12-1 overall to advance to the BCS Championship Game in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans, who finished second in both polls, boasted a school-record six All-American first-teamers, including Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Reggie Bush. He was the 2005 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year, as well as the American Football Coaches Association Division I-A Region 5 Coach of the Year.
In 2004, he guided No. 1-ranked USC to its second consecutive national championship with a convincing win over Oklahoma in the BCS Championship Game in the Orange Bowl. USC became only the second team ever to hold its AP preseason No. 1 ranking all the way through a season. It was only the 10th time that a team won back-to-back AP crowns. His team was 13-0 (a school-record for wins) and went 8-0 in the Pac-10.
The Trojans won the AP national championship, its first national crown since 1978, and entered the Rose Bowl also ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN poll, in 2003. USC was 12-1 overall and finished the season ranked second. USC’s 534 points was a Pac-10 record. Five Trojans were first-team All-Americans. For this, Carroll was named the 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, ESPN.com National Coach of the Year, Pigskin Club of Washington D.C. Coach of the Year and All-American Football Foundation Frank Leahy Co-Coach of the Year. He also was the Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year.
In 2002, USC posted its first 11-win season since 1979 and its highest ranking (No. 4) since 1988. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer and safety Troy Polamalu were first team All-Americans.
Carroll was named USC’s head football coach on December 15, 2000, and in his first season, led the Trojans to the Las Vegas Bowl and a 6-6 record.
He began his NFL career as defensive backs coach for Buffalo (1984) and Minnesota (1985-89) before becoming the New York Jets defensive coordinator (1990-93) and head coach (1994). He spent two years as San Francisco’s defensive coordinator (1995-96), leading the league in total defense in 1995, before leading New England to a 27-21 record and two playoff appearances as head coach (1997-99).
Carroll spent the 2000 season as a consultant for pro and college teams, doing charitable work for the NFL and writing a column on pro football for CNNSI.com.
Carroll began his coaching career at the college level, serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Pacific, for three years (1974-76), working with the wide receivers and secondary. He then spent a season as a graduate assistant working with the secondary at Arkansas (1977) under Lou Holtz as the Razorbacks won the 1978 Orange Bowl, and then a season each as an assistant in charge of the secondary at Iowa State (1978) and at Ohio State (1979). He next spent three seasons (1980-82) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at North Carolina State, before returning to Pacific in 1983 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.
Carroll was a two-time (1971-72) All-Pacific Coast Conference free safety at Pacific and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1973 in business administration. He received his secondary teaching credential and a master’s degree in physical education from Pacific in 1976. He was inducted into the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.
He was a three-sport (football, basketball and baseball) standout at Redwood High in Larkspur, Calif., earning the school’s Athlete of the Year award as a senior. He played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back. He was inducted into the inaugural Redwood High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He then played football at Marin Junior College in Kentfield, Calif., from 1969-70 before transferring to Pacific. In 2003, he helped develop A Better LA, a non-profit group consisting of a consortium of local agencies and organizations working to reduce gang violence by empowering change in individuals and communities. In the spring of 2009, he received the Crystal Heart Award from the USC School of Social Work for his involvement with A Better LA and the Pete Carroll Scholarship was established for students pursuing graduate study in the school. He received the Courageous Leadership Award from Women Against Gun Violence in 2005. In the fall of 2008, he helped organize “L.A. LivePeace 08,” a march and rally at the Coliseum to promote gang intervention and non-violence in Los Angeles.
Carroll published “Win Forever” in summer 2010, a New York Times best-selling book that unveiled his philosophies about coaching and leadership. The paperback edition, including a new chapter recounting his first season in Seattle, was released in August 2011.
Carroll was born on September 15, 1951, in San Francisco. He and his wife, Glena, who played volleyball at Pacific, have three children, sons Brennan, who played tight end at Delaware and Pittsburgh, Nate, who is an assistant coach with the Seahawks, and daughter Jaime, who played on the Women of Troy’s volleyball team that competed in the 2000 NCAA Final Four. He also has one grandson and two granddaughters.