One of the NFL’s longest-standing and most successful head coaching tenures is over. The Seattle Seahawks said Wednesday that Pete Carroll, their Super Bowl-winning coach, will leave his role and become an adviser to the organization.
The Seahawks, in a written statement by chairperson and de facto owner Jody Allen, said they had “amicably agreed” with Carroll, 72, to the change.
“Pete will always be a beloved member of the Seahawks family,” Allen said.
Carroll coached the Seahawks for 14 seasons. They reached the Super Bowl in the 2013 and ’14 seasons, winning the first of those.
“I plan to be coaching this team,” Carroll told Seattle Sports. “And I told you: I love these guys. And that’s what I would like to be doing and see how far you can go.”
Pete Carroll was decidedly optimistic about the future of his team this morning, telling us they were closer to a Super Bowl now than they were a year ago.” He was also very interested in continuing to coach. Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/GSFoaCYvAn
Carroll, who was the NFL’s oldest head coach, reportedly was under contract to the Seahawks through next season, with an option year for the 2025 season.
“I’m not worn out,” Carroll said in his radio interview. “I’m not tired. I’m not any of that stuff. I need to do a better job. And I need to help my coaches more and we need to do a better job of coaching. There’s a lot of area for improvement.”
Carroll said Monday that the organization would make changes, based on the annual deliberations by team leaders following a season.
“There’s always changes,” Carroll said. “The roster changes. All kinds of things change. That’s just getting better … so you can get as good as you can possibly get. But that’s what those meetings are all about.”
Speculation about Carroll’s successor immediately focused on Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. He is a former Seahawks defensive coordinator who took the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl as their head coach in the 2016 season, squandering a 28-3 lead to lose in overtime to the New England Patriots.
Carroll coached the Seahawks to a regular season record of 137-89-1 and a 10-9 postseason mark. They reached the playoffs 10 times in Carroll’s 14 seasons, establishing themselves as one of the NFL’s top teams behind their “Legion of Boom” defense, the punishing running of tailback Marshawn Lynch and the consistency of quarterback Russell Wilson, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection in his 10 seasons with the Seahawks.
The Seahawks overwhelmed the Denver Broncos, quarterbacked by Peyton Manning, in the Super Bowl to close the 2013 season. They returned to the Super Bowl the following season but lost to the Patriots, 28-24, when Wilson threw an interception to cornerback Malcolm Butler in the closing seconds as the Seahawks puzzlingly opted against handing the ball to Lynch at the New England 1-yard line.
That ended the Seahawks’ run of NFC dominance, as they failed to reach the conference championship game for the remainder of Carroll’s coaching tenure. They traded Wilson to the Broncos in March 2022 and returned to the playoffs last season with Geno Smith at quarterback.
There had been nearly annual speculation in recent years about the possibility of Carroll retiring from coaching. But such talk had been less prominent this season.
The Seahawks become the seventh NFL team searching for a new head coach. They join the Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders and Tennessee Titans. The Patriots have not yet clarified the status of Bill Belichick, their six-time Super Bowl-winning coach.
Most of those coaching changes were expected. But the two most recent moves by the Titans, who fired Mike Vrabel as their coach Tuesday, and the Seahawks were far more surprising.
The Seahawks’ coaching change comes with some NFL team owners expecting the franchise to be sold in the not-too-distant future. The trust of late owner Paul Allen has owned the team since the Microsoft co-founder’s death in 2018. Jody Allen, Paul Allen’s sister, has served as the de facto owner in her role as trustee of the trust. She also serves as chair of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, under the same circumstances. She has not specified when she might sell either franchise.
If the team is sold before May, the Seahawks would owe 10 percent of the sale price to the state of Washington, under the terms of a 1997 referendum that funded the construction of what is now called Lumen Field. That provision no longer applies thereafter.
Some in the NFL are hopeful that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will be involved in the bidding for the Seahawks. Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, explored a possible bid for the Washington Commanders last year but never made one. Bezos has an estimated net worth of $176.1 billion, according to Forbes, making him the world’s third-wealthiest individual.