The Seattle Seahawks locked up coach Pete Carroll with a three-year contract extension Friday, barely two months after he led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title.
The extension runs through the 2016 season. Carroll’s original five-year deal, signed with the team in January 2010, was set to expire after next season.
“This was a huge priority for us coming into the offseason,” general manager John Schneider said. “We knew it was around the corner, and quite honestly we’re trying to take care of our own people and keep our young players together. But where do you start? You start at the top.”
Carroll has proved his attitude and approach can work in the NFL during his third stint as a head coach at the pro level. He has preached competition with his players and it has shown results with the emergence of young stars Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman.
He is 38-26 in four regular seasons with Seattle and 5-2 in the playoffs. At age 62, Carroll is the second-oldest coach in the NFL (the Giants’ Tom Coughlin is 67) and is one of seven current coaches who have won a Super Bowl. It was a crowning achievement for Carroll to raise the Lombardi Trophy after struggles in his previous stints as an NFL coach with the Jets and Patriots.
“I think it’s really exciting, it’s really a statement of our commitment and our staying power and opportunity to do something special here,” Carroll said.
He came to Seattle because of something he didn’t have in his two previous stops as an NFL coach: control. Seattle gave him the reins to the franchise and hired him before adding Schneider to the mix, and the two have formed a relationship marked by stability and success.
Carroll lacked control when he was coach of the Patriots and Jets. But after nearly a decade of winning at USC and having that say, control was something Carroll wanted if he was going to get back into the professional ranks. The Seahawks were willing.
“I loved my time at USC and I was having the time of my life being part of that wonderful school and all the things that we were doing,” Carroll said. “But I knew there was another challenge out there, and that was coming to the league.”
Seattle also let Carroll imprint his attitude on the locker room. He wanted a fun atmosphere, but one with accountability, and competition was at the crux of everything Carroll did from the day he inherited a 5-11 team.
After two 7-9 seasons, the Seahawks surged in 2012 after drafting Wilson. They went 11-5 in the regular season and reached the divisional round of the playoffs. The roster turnover Carroll and Schneider started when they arrived was complete, and there were massive expectations going into 2013.
Seattle exceeded them. Carroll guided the Seahawks to 13 wins in the regular season, the NFC West title and home-field advantage in the playoffs. They knocked off New Orleans in the divisional round, then edged San Francisco in the NFC title game to reach their second Super Bowl.
At the Super Bowl, Carroll got to celebrate the way he did watching USC’s run of dominance in the mid-2000s. Seattle’s defense stifled the highest-scoring offense in NFL history, humbling the Broncos in a 43-8 beating.
SOURCE: The Associated Press