Hired on February 1, 2011, Carl Smith re-unites with Pete Carroll and brings 27 years of NFL experience to the Seahawks staff, previously spending two years as the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach (2009-10). It was his second stint with Cleveland after originally joining the club from 2001-03 in the same capacity.
Over the last five seasons, Smith has mentored Russell Wilson to become one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history, winning Super Bowl XLVIII as the third-youngest starting quarterback while continuing as the NFL’s winningest quarterback to begin a career with 64 victories (regular and postseason) and rank fourth in NFL history with 127 touchdown passes in his first five seasons, trailing only Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.
Wilson became the first player in NFL history to have a 100.0 passer rating in each of his first two seasons in the league. He broke his franchise record (101.2 rating in 2013) with an NFL-leading 110.1 passer rating in 2015.
Despite multiple injuries in 2016, Wilson led Seattle to another double-digit win season while setting career-highs in attempts (546), completions (franchise-record 353) and yards (franchise-record 4,219). He has never missed a game, starting 92 (80 regular season, 12 postseason).
He finished 2015 in unprecedented fashion, ending his last seven games with a 132.8 rating and becoming the only player in NFL history to pass for at least 24 touchdowns and have one or zero interceptions in a seven-game span in a single-season. He became the first player in NFL history with 4,000 passing yards, 30 touchdown passes and 500 rushing yards in a single-season.
He set career-highs in completion percentage (franchise-record 68.1), touchdowns (franchise-record 34) and passer rating (franchise-record and NFL-leading 110.1) in 2015.
In 2014, Wilson became the first player in NFL history to record a 300-100 game, with 313 passing yards and 106 rushing yards at St. Louis, and turned in the fifth-best season in NFL history for rushing yards by a quarterback (849).
In 2012, Smith’s training camp opened with a three-man race for the starting job with Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn and Wilson battling for the top spot. Throughout the process, it was Wilson’s development, maturation and leadership at the position that would lead Seattle in to the regular season.
The NFL’s third-ranked rushing attack allowed Wilson a comfort level to excel in the offense and he would go on to end the season as the league’s fourth-ranked passer with a 100.0 passer rating, tie (Peyton Manning) the NFL rookie-record with 26 touchdown passes, set the NFL rookie-record with three consecutive games with a 125-plus passer rating, and set other NFL and franchise records, including his 64.12 completion percentage ranking third in NFL history for a rookie quarterback.
With the help of a consistent ground game over the last-half of the 2011 season, Smith helped Jackson to career-highs in attempts (450), completions (271), yards (3,091), completion percentage (60.2, min. 290 att.) and touchdowns (14), in compiling a 7-7 record as a starter.
Of Smith’s 27 years as an NFL assistant, 13 have been spent as an offensive coordinator, last leading the Jacksonville Jaguars offense from 2005-06. In 2006, Jacksonville’s offense ranked 10th in the league and third overall in rushing with an average of 158.8 yards per game. In 2005, the Jaguars scored 361 points, 100 more than the previous season, and compiled a 12-4 record.
Smith worked with Carroll in 2004 at USC, where he mentored Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and helped USC win the national championship.
For 32 of his last 35 seasons, Smith has been an assistant at the professional level, beginning with three years (1983-85) with the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the USFL. The Stars won the league title his final two seasons.
He entered the NFL coaching arena with New Orleans in 1986, serving as its offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the next 11 seasons. During that time, the franchise recorded its first-ever winning season, earned its first playoff berth, won its first division title and qualified for the postseason on four occasions.
Smith and Carroll worked together in New England from 1997-99. Under his watch in 1997, Drew Bledsoe completed more than 60 percent of his passes, threw for more than 3,700 yards and set career-highs in touchdown passes (28) and passer rating (87.7) as he was voted to the AFC Pro Bowl squad.
Prior to the NFL, Smith was an assistant at the collegiate level for 12 seasons, with the final six as an offensive coordinator. Smith and Carroll first worked together in 1982 at North Carolina State when Smith was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and Carroll was defensive coordinator/secondary coach.
Smith lettered in football as a defensive back at Cal Poly-SLO from 1969-70 after transferring from Bakersfield College where he played quarterback from 1966-67. He earned his bachelor’s (1971) and master’s (1972) degrees in physical education from Cal-Poly SLO, as well as a teaching credential.
Born on April 26, 1948, in Wasco, Calif., Smith and his wife, Dianne, have three sons, Tracy, Tyler and Nicholas, and a grandson, Troy.