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Pete Carroll says Pacific was where coaching career started

Seattle Seahawks head coach and Pacific graduate, Pete Carroll, did not dream of being a coach when he was young.  

“My life is built around being raised by coaches,” he said. “But I never aspired to be a coach.  I never had that as my goal or anything.”

He says Pacific is where his coaching life began. He credits the coaches and professors he met as an undergraduate and graduate student.

Carroll shared his story with Pacific athletes and coaches on May 13. He was on campus to receive an honorary degree during the university’s Commencement ceremony. On the floor of the Spanos Center, Carroll explained how he discovered his passion for helping people maximize their performance.

Carroll’s start at Pacific

Carroll came to Pacific in the early 1970s as a transfer student on an athletic scholarship. He helped turn around Pacific’s football team record from 3-8 in his junior year to 8-3 in his senior year.

After graduating in 1973, he returned to Pacific as an assistant coach and a graduate student. That’s when he met Professor Glen Albaugh who introduced him to sports psychology.

“Glen Albaugh was really the guy. We were kind of going hand-in-hand to understanding how we could help nurture peak experiences,” Carroll said.

It was through Albaugh that Carroll started his journey of discovery about self-actualization. The idea of helping athletes quiet their minds and immerse themselves in an activity fascinated him.

He said all this crystallized for him later in his career after he read a book by legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, and he figured out that excellence comes down to one thing.

Passion for winning

“If you want to be great at what you do, you have to figure you out,” Carroll said. For him, that one thing was a passion for competing and winning.

Since then, Carroll has gone on to build an impressive career in college and professional football. He is one of only three football coaches who have won both a Super Bowl—with Seattle in 2013—and a college football national championship with the University of Southern California in 2003 and 2004.

Carroll shares his drive for excellence off the field as well. He recently founded Amplify Voices, a social justice media platform. His organiziation produces podcasts, documentaries and books dedicated to championing diverse and caring voices.

You can learn more about Carroll’s career at the new Stagg Memorial Football Plaza exhibit that Pacific recently unveiled.

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