Seattle Executive VP of Football Operations and head coach Pete Carroll, accessible and enthusiastic in his cooperation with the media covering the Seahawks on a daily basis, has been selected as the 2014 Jack Horrigan Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Carroll, the 41st Horrigan Award winner, is the second member of the Seahawks organization to receive the honor from the PFWA. Former head coach Mike Holmgren won the award in 2008. Carroll is the first head coach to win the Horrigan Award since the New York Jets' Rex Ryan in 2011.
The Horrigan Award is given to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job. The award is named for Horrigan, who was a sportswriter for UPI and the Buffalo Evening News, public relations director for the American Football League (1963-66) and vice president of public relations for the Buffalo Bills (1966-73).
Carroll is widely regarded by beat writers as very quotable during his media sessions, and he has been accessible and cooperative with the media since he became Seahawks head coach in 2010. He especially showed those traits during the Seahawks' run to their first Super Bowl title.
"Aside from being accessible and articulate, Pete has a rare grasp of the emotional side of stories," said Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune. "He's never reluctant to recognize the effort, the dedication, the pain and the hardships attendant to an athlete's life. Those tend to be some of his best quotes and give depth and a human dimension to the stories we tell. I was stunned one time after a press conference when he sought me out to elaborate on a question I had asked in a group-interview setting. He didn't feel that he'd adequately answered the question and wanted to clarify and elaborate. It showed me that he's not up there just firing off superficial answers, but actually engaged in the process. And, interestingly, as the Seahawks under Carroll have achieved greater success, he has seemed even more approachable and forthcoming rather than less so."
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter, who covers the Atlanta Falcons, is the organization's president for 2013-15, while ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold, who covers the Denver Broncos, is the PFWA's first vice-president and long-time national writer Dan Pompei is the organization's second vice-president. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
JACK HORRIGAN AWARD WINNERS (To the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job): 1974 - John Breen (Houston Oilers); 1975 - O.J. Simpson (Buffalo Bills); 1976 - Floyd Little (Denver Broncos); 1977 - Jerry Wynn (San Diego Chargers); 1978 - Bob Peck (Denver Broncos); 1979 - John Madden (Oakland Raiders); 1980 - Bum Phillips (Houston Oilers); 1981 - Bob Sprenger (Kansas City Chiefs); 1982 - Joe Gordon (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1983 - Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints); 1984 - Art Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1985 - Joe Browne (NFL); 1986 - Dick Steinberg (New England Patriots); 1987 - Charlie Dayton (Atlanta Falcons); 1988 - Art Modell (Cleveland Browns); 1989 - Tom Landry (Dallas Cowboys); 1990 - George Young (New York Giants); 1991 - Jim Finks (New Orleans Saints); 1992 - John Robinson (Los Angeles Rams); 1993 - Warren Moon (Houston Oilers); 1994 - Don Shula (Miami Dolphins); 1995 - Leslie Hammond (NFL); 1996 - Ron Wolf (Green Bay Packers); 1997 - Don Smith (Pro Football Hall of Fame); 1998 - Tony Dungy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers); 1999 - Greg Aiello (NFL); 2000 - Ernie Accorsi (New York Giants); 2001 - Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans); 2002 - Charley Casserly (Houston Texans); 2003 - Herman Edwards (New York Jets); 2004 - Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens); 2005 - Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons); 2006 - Floyd Reese (Tennessee Titans); 2007 - Steve Alic (NFL); 2008 - Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks); 2009 - Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers); 2010 - Gil Brandt (NFL.com); 2011 - Rex Ryan (New York Jets); 2012 - Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons); 2013 - Mike Signora (NFL); 2014 - Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks).