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Seahawks, Carroll reach agreement

Posted Jan 11, 2010

Former USC and NFL coach Pete Carroll agrees to become eighth head coach in Seahawks’ history; returns to NFL after impressive run with Trojans


It's official, finally: The Seahawks and Pete Carroll have agreed to terms on a contract that will make him the team's next coach.

After a whirlwind weekend of talks and trips – as well as reports and rumors – the club announced today that the former University of Southern California coach has indeed agreed to terms on a multiyear contract to join the Seahawks. Carroll will be the eighth head coach in franchise history.

Carroll will be introduced at a 10 a.m. news conference Tuesday. The club, meanwhile, continues its search for a general manager to work with Carroll.

“We are excited to add Pete as our coach. He brings a great passion for winning and a positive attitude that is a contagious,” CEO Tod Leiweke said in a statement released by the team. “We now turn our full attention to the hiring process for a general manager. Our intended structure is for Pete and the new GM to work in a collaborative capacity on football matters.”

Carroll’s first order of business will be assembling a staff to assist him in his return to the NFL after nine seasons at USC.

Carroll, 58, replaces Jim Mora, who was relieved of his duties on Friday after one season as coach. The GM that will be hired replaces Tim Ruskell, who resigned last month.

Carroll was a head coach in the NFL with the New England Patriots (1997-99) and New York Jets (1994), compiling a 33-31 record and leading the Patriots to the playoffs twice. The Patriots won the AFC East title in 1997 and qualified as a wild-card team in 1998. The ’97 team finished 10-6 and then beat the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-6. In 1998, the Patriots were 9-7 and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Prior to becoming a head coach in the NFL, Carroll served as defensive coordinator for the Jets (1990-93) and San Francisco 49ers (1995-96) and was defensive backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings (1985-89) and Buffalo Bills (1984).

He took over the USC program in 2001, leading the Trojans to a 97-19 record that included seven consecutive Pac-10 titles (2002-08) and two national championships.

Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu and defensive end Lawrence Jackson played for Carroll at USC, while safety Lawyer Milloy played for him while with the Patriots. Jackson told Sporting News Radio that Carroll has the experience to make a smooth transition.

“We’re dealing with a coach who has a track record of success,” Jackson said. “His philosophy worked obviously at USC. I think he would have to go back to his experience in the NFL, recount the things he felt he did right. Use the experience he got at USC in dealing with players who have gone on to the league and have been successful.

“I think he’s smart enough to be able to adjust on the fly.”