By John Boyle
Four years and a couple of months ago, Pete Carroll stood in an auditorium at Seahawks headquarters introduced as the Seattle Seahawks’ new head coach. On Friday, he was back on that same stage, this time sitting next to general manager John Schneider as the team announced a new three-year contract for the coach who just led Seattle to its first Super Bowl title.
“It’s really a day of gratitude for me,” Carroll said.
“It’s really exciting because it’s really a statement of our commitment, and it’s a statement of our staying power and our willingness to do something really special with this opportunity here and representing this fantastic fan base and the area.”
“I feel very humbled and fortunate to be a part of this, so Glena (Carroll’s wife) and I are really excited that we get to make a long-term statement that we’re here and with you and we want to keep fighting for you and all of that.”
The Seahawks did not specify the terms of the new deal, but Carroll was already one of the league’s highest-paid coaches making $7 million per year, and undoubtedly got a raise with this deal. Carroll’s new contract starts this year, replacing the final year of his old deal, meaning it runs through the 2016 season.
“Four years ago, Paul Allen brought us together, it’s been a very, very special relationship,” Schneider said. “Getting to know Pete and his family… It’s just been an outstanding relationship, we’ve grown together and I’ve gotten to know Pete. His leadership and guidance have been incredible in terms of ours success here.”
Carroll and Schneider both made fun of themselves for the way they portrayed their relationship as a “love-fest,” with Schneider adding, “Have there been rough times? Sure. When I beat him in cornhole that first night down in the locker room, it’s still a tough thing to get over. He’s a competitor, he doesn’t like losing.”
While Carroll’s new contract was the reward for the success he has had in his first four seasons, he hardly sees this as a sign that he’s made it. Four years ago, Carroll’s challenge was to turn around a struggling franchise while proving that his coaching philosophy that worked so well at USC could translate to the NFL. He did that by leading the Seahawks to three playoff appearances in four years, including a Super Bowl victory, and now Carroll wants to show that they are far from finished.
“We’re in the middle of something really special here,” he said.