Well he is leaving it seems. Pete Carroll is off to the Seattle Seahawks. From the urban rambunctiousness of 32nd Street and Hoover, legendary USC football coach, Pete Carroll is leaving for the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest. As a Trojan myself I am already in mourning. But Pete Carroll made his mark on Southern Cal. He created a powerhouse of a program that won 97 times out of 116 games! He built winners in his players including three Heisman trophy winners and fifty-three NFL draftees. He won two national championships and went to seven BCS bowl games.
Football is serious business at USC. As a student in the early 80’s the feeling on campus on those Saturday afternoons and evenings was all business. Trojan football matter then. I was there during the John Robinson days. USC won plenty of games then too.
But the last few years under Pete Carroll were spiritual. He created a tightly run football program that produced results. As an alum watching the Trojans roll to win after win was magical and even a bit intoxicating. Carroll met so many challenges that were presented to him and gave USC and its fans joy and celebration. But after so many years one wonders if he needed something more. Certainly the NFL would come calling. They had before for him. Carroll coached in the NFL before he came to USC without such great success. He had been coach of the New England Patriots just prior to coming to USC. And before that Carroll had been head coach of the Jets.
But it was at USC that he found an extraordinary rhythm.
So he has a challenge now in Seattle to take that team and mold it and shape it into a giant. But professionals are different from college students. I wish him well. And I thank him for his leadership at my alma mater and the many afternoons and evenings of football.
There will be lots written about Coach Carroll and his leaving. He will be under much scrutiny. But at least in this moment I say thank you. You may move to Seattle. You may move to the NFL. But you’ll always be a Trojan in our hearts.