Carroll explains why he’s no longer Seahawks coach, what’s next

Jan 10, 2024, 2:56 PM | Updated: 5:02 pm

A day after his team’s win over the Arizona Cardinals to finish the 2023 season on a high note, Pete Carroll reiterated his desire Monday to remain head coach of the Seattle Seahawks for 2024 despite missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.

Two days later, Carroll and the organization announced that would not be the case as his position would “evolve” to an advisor role.

Seattle Seahawks remove Pete Carroll as coach, name him advisor

It ends one heck of an era for the Seahawks, who won a Super Bowl and made the playoffs 10 times in the 14 years since Carroll came to town back in 2010.

On Wednesday, an emotional and reflective Carroll spoke to the media one last time a few hours after it was announced that he will no longer be the team’s head coach.

“Since our last game, I had a couple chances to talk, and first I shared my feelings about about our team and about the organization and representing the 12s and my intentions of staying with the Hawks,” he said. “And that was true to the bone, and I want to make sure that’s clear as things have shifted so quickly in most people’s perspective.”

After each season year, Carroll and general manager John Schneider meet with team ownership to discuss what’s next. That was again the case this year, but it ended with a very different result.

“Following our season-ending meetings with ownership in the planning sessions, it’s clear that – and for a variety of reasons – we have mutually agreed to set a new course for the club to take on new leadership,” Carroll said. “That’s just the decision that’s been made. There’s a lot that went into that, and a lot that went behind that.”

Carroll said he “didn’t back off for a second” about making it clear he did want to remain head coach. Ultimately, the process now begins for the Seahawks to find his successor. Carroll didn’t close the door on coaching elsewhere, and said, “Today’s about today. I don’t know that.”

“I competed pretty hard to be the coach, just so you know, because I just wanted to make sure that I stood up for all of our coaches and the players and the things that we’d accomplished,” Carroll said. “Not so that we could be the coach still, but so that we could continue to have a chance to be successful and keep the organization going. That’s what I was fighting for. So in that regard, that was what I was representing in our discussions, and we got to a good part, a good clean spot where it made sense and I went along with it with their intentions.”

With Carroll staying with the organization as an advisor, what will the job entail? Carroll isn’t sure.

“We’re gonna figure that out. We don’t really know right now,” he said. “But I’m grateful for the intention that the organization has to try to find something that makes sense. So we’ll see. I don’t know.”

Carroll made it sound like Schneider will be the main decision-maker for the team going forward. That will be a shift for the organization as Carroll, in addition to being head coach, was the team’s vice president of football operations, meaning he ultimately had the final word on team matters.

“That will be on Johnny’s docket,” Carroll said when asked about the search for a new head coach. “He’s gonna get after that and make that happen with the help of ownership and all that, and we’ll be supporting them as much as possibly can happen so that they can do a great job with it.”

While Carroll will technically still be part of the organization, he said he won’t be involved in helping find his successor.

“No, I have support to John. I’m supporting John,” he said. “… That’s not my deal. That’s their deal.”

“Moving towards the future, if there’s some way that I can add something to it down the road, we’ll see what happens,” Carroll later said. “But this is a good move for them and John’s gonna take the bull by the horns and roll and I’m so thankful that I get to see him take that next step and watch what he does with it. He’s gonna kick butt.”

Carroll brushed off a few questions about the specifics of his split with the Seahawks, but he did ultimately point to the 15th-year general manager running the show.

“It’s why this happened. You really want to know? It’s because I want him to have this chance,” Carroll said. “It’s been 14 years you’ve been sitting there waiting for his opportunity, and he deserves it and he’s great at what he does. And now he’s not gonna find out … He deserves this moment, and I was cheerleading for him. If there’s nothing else that was part of this factor, that was the biggest factor … It was to help make sure that he could have this opportunity. He’s gonna go for it, and I will do whatever I can to help him be successful – still.”

When Carroll was hired in 2010, he said that then-owner Paul Allen offered him the general manager position. Carroll declined and said he wanted to hire one. Schneider was hired soon after.

“And from the first moment that we really (said), ‘OK, now we’re going to do this,’ we stepped off to the side and I gave John a big hug and said, ‘We’re getting married, dude. And I’m going to help you be the greatest general manager in the history of the league if I could,'” Carroll said, then directing his gaze to his right, where Schneider stood during Carroll’s press conference. “You took 14 years to get to it, and I’m so proud, I’m so excited for you to have this opportunity. It’s going to be cool. It’s always been a great marriage and it’s just unforgettable, and I’m just so grateful for that. And going forward, I’ll be your biggest fan now, dude. I’ll be right there for you.”

More on the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll

Seattle Seahawks Candidates: Who could succeed Carroll as coach
Who will be the next Seahawks coach? Huard, Bumpus weigh in
Former Seahawks, others in sports world react to Pete Carroll news
• Pete Carroll out as Seahawks coach: Bump and Stacy’s live reaction
• What Pete Carroll said after being removed as Seattle Seahawks coach
• What They Said: Seattle Sports’ voices on Pete Carroll news

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Carroll explains why he’s no longer Seahawks coach, what’s next