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Friday Round-Up: FOX Sports Reflects On Pete Carroll's 50 Years Of Coaching Football

FOX Sports’ Eric Williams details the evolution of Pete Carroll, who is heading into his 50th season coaching football.


Good afternoon, 12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Friday, September 8 — about your Seattle Seahawks. 

Reflections On Pete Carroll's Legendary Football Career

Over the last five decades, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll has climbed the college football and NFL ranks, securing multiple national championships and a Super Bowl ring. Seahawks associate head coach Carl Smith helped FOX Sports down what it's been like to watch Carroll's journey unfold, working together on several stops along the way.

Carroll will turn 72 on September 15. It's been 50 years since he began his post-graduate coaching career at his alma mater, University of the Pacific, 20 years, since winning his first NCAA Championship and a decade since Super Bowl XLVIII. Through three stops at the collegiate and pro level, along with two stints in Seattle, Smith, better known as "Tater," is as familiar with Carroll's journey as anyone in football. In FOX Sports' latest, Smith breaks down why an inquisitive mind has made Carroll one of the most-renowned football coaches of the modern day.

After hanging up his cleats as an all-conference safety for the University of Pacific, Carroll embarked on a storied coaching journey that began at his alma mater in 1973, before exploring multiple opportunities at top programs (Arkansas, Iowa State, Ohio State) throughout the late 1970's. In 1980, Carroll would head south to Raleigh, North Carolina, to serve as defensive coordinator for North Carolina State for three seasons. In 1982, Smith would join the staff as offensive coordinator, learning quickly about just how passionate Carroll was in learning the game of football. 

"Curiosity was one of my first impressions of him," said Smith. "I didn't really know him that first year at NC State. We had a three-hour recruiting trip together. I had just finished a season where I was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. And I had a connection with one of the great offensive line coaches in the NFLin Dan Radakovich. So, we're on this trip and he [Carroll] couldn't stop asking questions about line play. He's always been curious about lots of stuff, but football for sure."

Asking questions and exploring new ideas, styles and schemes for success has been a winning formula for Carroll over the years, winning at both the collegiate and professional level. It was that passion for improving that took Carroll from college to the NFL in the 1980's, serving as defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills (1984) and Minnesota Vikings (1985-89). After taking over the reins as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 1990-93, Carroll was promoted to head coach in 1994. Despite a 6-10 season, Carroll landed the defensive coordinator job for the San Francisco 49ers in 1995. In 1997, Smith and Carroll relocated to New England, where he later accepted the Patriots' head coach position. In three seasons at the helm, Carroll's Pats made two playoff trips, as he finished 27-21 in that span.  

After being let go by New England, Carroll took his talents to the University of Southern California in 2001 after taking a year off. After a slow start in his first year, Carroll's USC Trojans would go on to win 34 straight games between 2003-2005. In that span, the Trojans would win consecutive national championships in 2003 and 2004, with Smith re-joining his old colleague in Los Angeles to help the Trojans secure the latter.

Over the course of a decade in Los Angeles, Carroll's USC teams took home two national championships, seven Pac-10 titles and two Orange Bowl wins. In a discussion with Fox, Carroll discussed the need to constantly learn and find your way in a game that continues to evolve. 

"That process for me has never stopped," said Carroll. "Figure out more accurately and more clearly what's important to you. And then you can convey that to the people around you so they can utilize it. And we can all be connected and execute at a really high level. That's the essence of it. 

And meanwhile, if you do it in a manner that people know you care for them, and it's really important that you take care of the relationships you have with your players and coaches, that's all a huge part of doing this." 

Since 2010, Carroll has led the Seahawks as a coach, making the playoffs in 10-out-of-13 seasons while bringing the first-ever championship to Seattle in 2013 (Super Bowl XLVIII). The various stops across his five-decade career have been integral in his current success, learning philosophies and principles from coaching greats like Monte Kiffin, Lou Holtz, Bud Grant and Bill Walsh. They've allowed him to create prototypes for finding players that fit his formula for success, such as when his NC State days coaching up 6-foot-2 cornerback Perry Williams helped grow his affinity for taller corners - like Seahawks 6-4 standout Riq Woolen. 

In this highly-detailed piece by FOX Sports writer Eric Williams, former players like Seahawks Legend Matt Hasselbeck and longtime friends like Smith break down the character and makeup of Seattle's head coach.

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