Pete Carroll became the eighth head coach in Seahawks history on January 11, 2010. Carroll returned to the NFL after spending the previous nine years (2001-2009) as head coach at USC, where he won seven consecutive Pac-10 titles (2002-2008), two national championships (2003-2004) and led the Trojans to a 97-19 record.
As head coach, Carroll likes to focus on culture-building and personal growth, which separates him from many coaches in professional football. In January of 2020, Carroll and his unconventional, yet highly successful, coaching style were profiled in the New York Times.
Carroll was a two-time (1971-1972) All-Pacific Coast Conference free safety at Pacific and was inducted into the Pacific Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. Carroll began his coaching career at the college level, serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Pacific, for three years (1974-1976). 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 (1980-1982) 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.
He began his NFL career as defensive backs coach for Buffalo (1984) and Minnesota (1985-1989) before becoming the New York Jets defensive coordinator (1990-1993) and head coach (1994). He spent two years as San Francisco’s defensive coordinator (1995-1996), leading the league in total defense in 1995, before leading New England to a 27-21 record and two playoff appearances as head coach (1997-1999).
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 was named USC’s head football coach on December 15, 2000, and in his first season, led the Trojans to the Las Vegas Bowl and a 6-6 record.
In his first season with the Seahawks, Carroll almost completely overturned the roster, totaling over 200 transactions in the course of only one season. However, these moves paved the way for a 4–2 start to the 2010 season. Although Seattle faltered through the latter half of the season, the team beat their NFC West division rival Rams in the final week of the regular season for the division championship, becoming the first 7–9 team in NFL history to win a division title.
In February 2014, Carroll led the Seattle Seahawks to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history after defeating the Denver Broncos, 43–8, in Super Bowl XLVIII.
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