Whether or not you like Pete Carroll as football coach, you have to respect him as person. He has never ending energy which he has used to transform the USC football program to one of the top programs in the country. As if that isn't a full time job, he is using his celebrity to really help the community around him. And this isn't the charity cameo that we will see a lot of celebrities do... he is spending a lot of time and energy going 1 on 1 in a lot of neighborhoods that are overlooked or forgotten.
First, the football coach. Bottom line... he is great. His energy on field during games and practice is so contagious that i just love watching SC football again. At practices (and i've been to a couple) he is throwing the ball (he's got a decent arm), running around with the kids, laughing and having fun out there. It's great to see that spread to a player like Mark Sanchez, quarterback from the 2008 season, running around and really having fun out there. That's what it's all about it anyway... it's football for pete's sake. I don't want to make any 1 on 1 comparisons of his style to other coaches, but look up and down the sidelines and show me another coach that really looks like he is having fun out there. Watching him makes me want to enjoy something that much... makes me want to enjoy living that much. That is a sign of greatness.
Here is some fun stuff he has done with the team that gives some support for my thoughts that he really enjoys doing this job. One of his frequent mantras is "always compete" and that shows up in the Will Ferrell clip.
Here's an April fools joke that he played on the team. It's a little long, but a funny payoff.
Here is Will Ferrell as Captain Compete at USC practice:
It's not all roses in the coaching world. I still can't forgive coach Carroll for the defensive call during Texas's final drive in the 2005 Rosebowl. Why did he put the extra DBs in?? Why!!??!!??? I had to sit there and watch Vince Young drive down the field and eat up all the clock while TWO Heisman trophy winners (Leinart and Bush) sat on the sidelines. Come on coach... i know blitzing in that situation is unorthodox and could give up the big play, but that is how you roll... you are unorthodox. Even if we give up the big play, everyone in the Rosebowl knew that Leinart and Bush could have driven back down to win that game if they had a couple minutes. Ugh... that was the most painful loss i've ever watched. Really had me shaken up for a few days afterward... not sure why exactly, but it was a doozy.
Pete Carroll the man outside of coaching. His involvement in the community through is charity, A Better LA, was well summarized here:
23 Reasons Why a Profile of Pete Carroll Does Not Appear in This Space by J.R. Moehringer
My take on this article and his involvement to come soon....
Just was watching this recent video from a team meeting on Aug 21, 2009. Not only does it get me excited about football season, but it's just a good message throughout. It starts as a prank (as the team has many pranks played on each other) but then you can see how it transforms into some great energy and finishes with some poignant words from Bill Withers. Worth the 6 minutes.
Peter Clay Carroll (born September 15, 1951, in San Francisco, California) is an American football coach, a former National Football League head coach, and the current head coach of the University of Southern California Trojans football team, having held that position since 2001. In his time at USC, the Trojans have made it to multiple national championship games (winning the National Championship in 2004 and splitting the National Championship in 2003) and have consistently emerged as Pacific-10 Conference champions. Carroll's winning percentage (85.4%) is the highest among all active coaches with a minimum of five years at a Football Bowl Subdivision program.