Pete Carroll’s Seahawks HC Tenure Ends

Shortly after the Seahawks’ season ended, Pete Carroll said he expected to be back on the sidelines for a 15th season with the team. The Seahawks have other ideas. Carroll’s tenure as Seattle’s HC is ending, according to’s Adam Schefter.

The NFL’s oldest active HC, Carroll coached 14 years with the Seahawks. It is not certain the Super Bowl-winning leader will be out entirely with the organization, but Schefter reports he will not be back coaching the team in 2024. A day after the Titans’ decision to outright fire Mike Vrabel, the Seahawks have come in with a similarly surprising call. Carroll, 71, has since informed his staff he is out,’s Jeremy Fowler tweets.

Hired after a wildly successful USC tenure in 2010, Carroll revived his NFL career with the Seahawks. The former Jets and Patriots HC guided the franchise to its apex during the mid-2010s, when Carroll coached the team to back-to-back NFC championships and a Super Bowl XLVIII blowout conquest. The Seahawks, however, have drifted off the Super Bowl radar over the past few years. And Carroll’s defenses have not rivaled the Legion of Boom days in a while.

Seahawks owner Jody Allen confirmed Wednesday that Carroll will no longer be in place as head coach. Allen added that the 14-year Seattle leader will remain with the organization in an advisory role. This is similar to how the Buccaneers played it when Bruce Arians stepped down, though that split is believed to have come from Arians. Carroll going from being committed to coaching in 2024 to this lesser role represents a sea change in the Pacific Northwest.

After thoughtful meetings and careful consideration for the best interest of the franchise, we have amicably agreed with Pete Carroll that his role will evolve from Head Coach to remain with the organization as an advisor,” Allen said in a statement. “His expertise and leadership in building a championship culture will continue as an integral part of our organization moving forward.”

A Dan Quinn-Seahawks reunion could be in the cards. The Cowboys’ DC is expected to be a lead candidate to return to Seattle,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator during their two Super Bowl seasons in the 2010s, replacing Gus Bradley. Quinn, who has been Dallas’ DC for three seasons, also worked as Seattle’s defensive line coach from 2009-10. Quinn, 53, has been selective about his return to a head coach position, bowing out of the past two HC carousels after garnering extensive interest. It would not surprise if he pursued the Seattle gig, given his past with the franchise.

The Jets made Carroll a one-and-done in 1994, and the Patriots traded for Bill Belichick‘s rights to replace him after three seasons (1997-99). Carroll then won two national titles at USC. After two seasons back in the pros in Seattle, Carroll ignited the team’s ascent when the team drafted Russell Wilson in the 2012 third round. The former No. 75 overall pick paired with a young core of defenders, a cadre 2012 second-round pick Bobby Wagner also joined, and created one of this era’s most dominant nuclei.

The Seahawks held a record-setting Broncos offense to eight points in a 43-8 smashing 10 years ago, and their follow-up effort produced an overtime walk-off to complete an NFC championship comeback over the Packers. A less healthy Seahawks defense could not hold up against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, with one play call — the pass that led to Malcolm Butler‘s seminal interception, eschewing a Marshawn Lynch carry from the 1-yard line — remembered as the tipping point in that Super Bowl and for both franchises in the 2010s.

While the Seahawks never made it back to a Super Bowl under Carroll, Wilson’s progression into a Hall of Fame-caliber passer helped keep the team in contention for several years. Carroll guided the Seahawks to 10 playoff appearances and five division titles in his 14-season run. The team’s blockbuster Wilson trade in 2022 brought back major assets that have been used on potential cornerstones. After a surprise playoff berth in 2022, which featured a shocking Geno Smith re-emergence, the Seahawks disappointed this season by finishing 9-8 and missing the postseason.

During the Legion of Boom’s heyday, the Seahawks became the first franchise since the 1950s Browns to lead the NFL in scoring defense in four straight seasons. Bradley, Quinn and Kris Richard resided as Seattle’s DCs during that period, with Richard Sherman (Round 5, 2011) and Earl Thomas (Round 1, 2010) becoming Canton-caliber DBs and Kam Chancellor (Round 5, 2010) working as a co-anchor of the group. As that storied secondary splintered, along with the losses of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, the Seahawks steadily regressed defensively. Wilson’s two extensions made it more difficult for the Seahawks to retain their defensive core, after the team used its QB’s rookie deal to load up the roster in 2013 and ’14. By 2018, only Wagner and K.J. Wright remained.

Under Clintt Hurtt over the past two seasons, the Seahawks finished no higher than 25th in scoring or total defense. This certainly became an issue for the defensive-minded head coach, whose unit crashed to 30th in total defense (28th in DVOA) in 2023. Carroll had fired Ken Norton Jr. after a four-season DC run, but the unit has worsened in the two years since. While Smith did not match his Comeback Player of the Year season, the team’s offense outshined the Carroll- and Hurtt-managed defense. This almost definitely has contributed to the Seahawks’ course change.

Carroll’s latest HC contract runs through 2025. He also held final personnel say, though he and GM John Schneider — brought in together in 2010 — worked collaboratively throughout this successful era. It is now worth watching to see if Schneider will have full control once the team hires Carroll’s replacement. Will Carroll retain any say in decision-making from his new advisory perch? Carroll finishes his Seahawks HC career at 137-89-1. His AFC East years round the record out to 170-120-1.

The Panthers, Chargers and Commanders have requested meetings with Quinn, who turned the Cowboys’ defense around quickly. Those clubs now have clear competition, though it remains to be seen which other candidates Seahawks ownership has in mind. But the next era will be unmistakably different.

The Seahawks picked up their first championship and tripled its Super Bowl appearance count under Carroll, whose high-energy style led to him becoming one of this NFL period’s defining figures. In an offseason in which Belichick is also expected to separate from the Patriots, the NFL will look considerably different by the time teams reconvene for the 2024 season.

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