SEATTLE--USC Coach Pete Carroll is embarking on a brief leave of absence from college football to take over as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, the LA Times reported Monday. Carroll signed a five-year deal but will most likely be jettisoned after two-years and return to college with his tail between his legs.
For Carroll, it’s a chance to enjoy a temporary change of scenery before resuming his college career
“This is going to be a great opportunity for me to take a break from the college game,” Carroll told reporters. “I’ll be able to get some experience as an NFL head coach and personnel man, make some mistakes, learn from them, and then take what I’ve learned back to college, where I’ll stay forever. I always considered myself a college guy, but there's nothing wrong with taking a little detour.”
Carroll said his first task as head coach of the Seahawks would be to “restore accountability” and “change the culture in the locker room.”
“The first thing you have to do in a situation like this is change the culture in the locker room,” Carroll said. “That is accomplished by restoring accountability. Restoring accountability is accomplished by making everybody accountable for what they do on the field. So then if you lose, people are accountable, and that changes the culture to a culture of accountability and non-losing. And um...that's my blueprint for the team.”
To make room for Carroll, the Seahawks fired current coach Jim Mora Jr., who led the team to a 5-11 record in his first and only season. CEO Todd Leiweke said the decision to fire Mora was a difficult one, but the right thing to do for the organization.
“Jim tried his very best for us this year and it was difficult for me to let him go,” said Leiweke. “But you can’t pass up an opportunity to hire one of the most decorated college coaches in history. Pete won a lot of championships at USC, and that's a difficult place to win. You have to show up every single day, draw up plays for your superior uber-athletes, and then sit back and watch them out-muscle and out-run their opponents. That takes its toll. I can see why he grew tired of it.”
Carroll’s resignation didn’t come as much of a surprise for USC fans, many of whom sensed that the Pete Carroll era was coming to an end. Athletic Director Mike Garrett often clashed with Carroll but said there were no hard feelings over the coach’s departure.
“Pete did a great job with this program and he will be difficult to replace,” said Garrett. “But I totally understand why Pete did this. He did it because he has nothing to lose. He can go the NFL, blow it completely, weasel out of his contract or get fired, then return to the college game making twice as much money. It’s the Bobby Petrino/Nick Saban blueprint. And it works. Why? Because NFL owners don't learn from history, God love ‘em.”
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Pete Carroll Embarks On Two-Year Leave Of Absence From College Football
|January 11, 2010|