Northwest Coach Profiles: Pete Carroll

CFB & NFL Football: Pete Carroll

Date of birth: September 15, 1951
Place of birth: San Francisco, California
Position: Head Coach
49ers, Bills, Jets, Patriots, USC, Seahawks
Career record NCAA: 83–19

Pete Carroll was born September 15, 1951 in San Francisco, California. He went to Redwood High School in Larkspur, California. As a freshman, he was too small for sports and had to bring a doctor’s note in order to even try out for the football team.

That set his tone for the attitude he would carry throughout his life (“Earn everything”) and helped him become a 3 sport star in high school, playing basketball, baseball and QB, WR and DB on the football team.

He won his school’s Athlete of the Year his senior year in 1969 and was in the school’s first ever Hall of Fame class in 2009.

From high school, Carroll went to junior college at College of Marin and then transferring to the University of the Pacific. He played safety for his 2 years at UoP and was named All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference both of those years.

After college, Carroll tried out for the Honolulu Hawaiians of the World Football League, but didn’t make the team. He went on to work his only non-football job of his life, selling roofing materials.

College Coaching Career Part 1

Carroll’s first coaching job came courtesy of his coach at Pacific, becoming a graduate assistant on his staff. He also re-enrolled at Pacific as a graduate student. He worked with the wide receivers and the secondary wide receivers on the team. He was inducted to their Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.

Pete Carroll hoisting the BCS National Championship Trophy

Carroll won big while at USC

After graduation, Carroll moved on to the University of Arkansas as an assistant working with the secondary. To put this into perspective, Lou Holtz was head coach of the Razorbacks at the time. The defensive coordinator was one Monte Kiffin.

The backup quarterback on the team was Houston Nutt. Carroll’s wife babysat Lane Kiffin, now the head coach of USC.

The next 2 years had him at 3 different colleges: Iowa State University, Ohio State University and then a 3 year stint with the third school, NC State. He ran the secondaries at all 3 schools and became defensive coordinator at NC State.

Carroll was invited again by one of his Pacific mentors to join their coaching team, this time as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He lasted one year there before finally making his first jump to the NFL.

NFL Coaching Career Part 1

In 1984, he became DB’s coach at Buffalo. The next year, he held the same position in Minnesota and was there for 3 seasons. Then he moved on to become the Jets defensive coordinator before moving to head coach of the franchise. He was fired as head coach of the Jets after 1 season.

He then went to San Francisco for 2 seasons, serving as the defensive coordinator. Then he got his second head coach position, this time with the New England Patriots.

Carroll took the Pats to the playoffs the first 2 seasons with the team and was fired after his third season ended in a second half collapse.

College Coaching Career Part 2

On December 15, 2000, Carroll officially began his tenure as head coach of the University of Southern California Trojans.

We all know how that went. Carroll went on to have one of the most successful college coaching careers in history. Before sanctions against the school, Carroll boasted a record of 97-19 with 4 BCS national championship appearances and 3 wins in those games.

He had 53 players go pro in his tenure and churned out 25 1st team All-American players.

NFL Coaching Career Part 2

Pete Carroll being introduced to Seattle

Carroll is now steering the ship in Seattle and leaving his mark immediately

Then came the moment that sent Seahawks nation into a frenzy. On January 9, 2010, Carroll was announced to have reached an agreement to take over the head coaching position for our beloved Seattle Seahawks. Carroll took over for Jim Mora after his 1 season of work and stepped right in.

Although he has lead the Seahawks to consecutive 7-9 records, his impact on the team has already been huge, to say the least. Carroll completely turned over the coaching staff and roster of players to fit what he used at USC as a mold for success.

His first season with the Seahawks took them to the playoffs and hosting a playoff game at home against the New Orleans Saints. That game would go down in infamy as one of the greatest playoff games and playoff moments ever with Marshawn Lynch‘s Beast Quake touchdown run.

Carroll just finished his second season in Seattle, sending 5 players to the NFL Pro Bowl to top it all off.

Though he hasn’t earned many accolades yet in this go-around in the NFL, he has already made a massive positive impact on this franchise.

In The Community

While coaching at USC, Carroll started his A Better L.A. foundation to help reduce violence in the Los Angeles area.

After moving to Los Angeles to take the USC job, Carroll saw how big an effect the violence in the city was and created the foundation to help children escape the violence and create a better environment for them to grow up and develop in.

After taking the Seahawks job, Carroll built on his A Better LA success by starting A Better Seattle. The message with this foundation is the same, keeping children in a violence free-environment to grow up and develop.

It also emphasizes good health and has partnered with several organizations in the community to achieve their goals.


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About Brandon Choate

Guest reporter on "Real Rob Report." Raised on Eastside of Seattle, a super fan of every sports team in Seattle. Bleeds Blue, Green, Teal, Purple and Gold. Likes video games, food, and poor attempts at comedy. Connect with Brandon today!
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