Named head coach on January 11, 2010, Pete Carroll became the eighth head coach in Seahawks history after one of the most successful runs in USC history in the college ranks. He brings 21 years of NFL experience and 19 years of collegiate experience to Seattle.
Carroll’s overall head coaching record is 83-61 in the regular season and 8-5 in the postseason in his nine years of head coaching.
In his five seasons as head coach in Seattle, Carroll and General Manager John Schneider constructed the best teams in Seahawks history over the past three seasons with a combined 36-12 record and back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.
Seattle won its ninth division title in club history in 2014, third under Carroll, after winning the NFC West with a 12-4 record. Seattle has advanced to the divisional round in four of Carroll’s five seasons as coach, winning two NFC Championships and one Super Bowl, while claiming the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the third time in club history (2005, 2013-14).
Seattle fell to New England, 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz., in a season that saw it begin 3-3 but finish the season with a 9-1 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the second consecutive season.
Seattle continued its defensive dominance since 2012 as it led the NFL in scoring defense for the third consecutive season (2012-14), becoming the first defense to accomplish that feat since the 1969-71 Purple People Eaters of the Minnesota Vikings, and third overall in NFL history (Cleveland, 1953-57). The Seahawks also became the fourth team in NFL history to lead the league in fewest points and yards allowed in back-to-back seasons, and first since the 1985-86 Chicago Bears.
Seattle finished in the top-10 in defense for a franchise-record fourth consecutive season (2011-14) and led the league for the second straight year while the offense had the No. 1-ranked rushing attack with a franchise-record 2,762 yards and ranked in the top-10 in offense (ninth overall) for the first time since the 2007 season.
Carroll led Seattle to its first Super Bowl title in franchise history with a 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in New York/New Jersey on February 2, 2014, after a franchise-best 13-3 regular season record, and joined Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer as the only coaches to win a college football national title and a Super Bowl in their career.
Carroll and Schneider constructed one of the best defenses in the last 12 years at the time, leading them to the NFL title. The Seahawks defense ranked first overall in the NFL in total defense (273.6 ypg), passing defense (172.0 ypg), points allowed (14.4 ppg), takeaways (39), interceptions (28), turnover differential (+20) and opponent quarterback rating (63.4).
The youngest Super Bowl-winning roster in NFL history (26 years, 162 days) was led by second-year quarterback Russell Wilson, who became the third-youngest quarterback to win the title game (25 years, 65 days).
Carroll continues to grow the team through his strong philosophy of preaching competition and taking care of the football.
Helping that cause, 24 of 48 draft choices since 2010, and 18 of 30 since 2012, remain with the team to build a strong foundation of continuity, including 10 starters, including All- Pros S Kam Chancellor, CB Richard Sherman, S Earl Thomas and LB Bobby Wagner.
In 2012, Carroll led Seattle to the NFC Divisional Playoff posting the fourth-best record in franchise history (11-5). Seattle won its first postseason road game since 1983 with a Wild Card Game victory at Washington.
One of the youngest teams in the NFL to end the season for the second-consecutive year (second overall, third-youngest defensive starters, fourth-youngest offensive starters), Seattle started 4-4 but went on to finish the season 7-1 led by rookie Russell Wilson and the league’s fourth-ranked defense, that also led the league allowing 245 points (15.3 ppg).
Carroll’s 2011 squad also ranked as one of the youngest in the NFL; beginning the season with the second-youngest roster in Week 1, once-having the third-youngest offensive line during the season and ending the year with the second-youngest starting defensive unit in the league.
He saw his 2011 defense improve weekly, ending the season ranked ninth in the league in total defense, just the sixth time Seattle has boasted a top-10 defense and first since 1997. His offense switched gears from a quick-strike no-huddle group to a grind-it-out ground game led by Marshawn Lynch over the last-half of the season. That offensive mentality helped Seattle rank fifth in the NFL with 1,212 rush yards over the last nine games of the season.
Always competing, the Seahawks jumped out to a 4-2 record to begin the 2010 season and parlayed that in to the club’s fifth NFC West title in the past seven seasons, punctuating the season with a 41-36 victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field in the Wild Card Game. It was Seattle’s fifth playoff win in a row at Century - Link Field.
Carroll returned to the NFL after spending 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 since1900 (Penn’s George Woodruff - 102). He reached 50 career USC wins faster than any head coach in Trojans history. From 2002-08, his teams appeared in an NCAA-record seven consecutive BCS bowls, recorded at least 11 victories seven times (an NCAA record) and finished ranked in the AP Top 4. USC was the 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 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.
USC posted an 11-2 mark in 2006, finished No. 4 in the final polls and shared the Pac-10 title at 7-2 to capture an unprecedented fifth straight conference crown. Five Trojans were All-American first teamers and Carroll was named the 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year (for the third time).
His Trojans held AP's No. 1 ranking for the entire regular season in 2005. 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. A school-record six Trojans were named All-American first teamers.
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 Bowland 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.
He began his coaching career at the collegiate 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
In 2003, he helped develop “A Better L.A.,” 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 L.A.,” 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. LivePeace08,” a march and rally at the Coliseum to promote gang intervention and non-violence in Los Angeles. He has taken this model and created “A Better Seattle,” in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Seattle and the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to prevent violence in Seattle and South King County. It was launched on September 15, 2011.
Carroll also spearheaded the efforts to bring “We Day,” a star-studded pep rally event to inspire children to make an impact to the world, to the United States for the first time when it came to Seattle in March 2013. The day-long event filled KeyArena with more than 15,000 high school students and included celebrity speakers and performers including Magic Johnson, Martin Luther King III, Macklemore, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Sheen and more. The one-of-a-kind event, which has been in eight Canadian cities since 2008 and will expand across the U.S. and in to England, returns annually to Seattle.
Carroll was born on September 15 in San Francisco. He and his wife, Glena, who played volleyball at Pacific, have three children, sons Brennan (married to Amber), who played tight end at Delaware and Pittsburgh, Nate, and daughter Jaime (married to Mike), who played on the Women of Troy's volleyball team that competed in the 2000 NCAA Final Four. The couple also has four grandchildren.