Carroll was named USC’s head football coach on December 15, 2000, and in his first season, led the Trojans to the Las Vegas Bowl and a 6-6 record.
He began his NFL career as defensive backs coach for Buffalo (1984) and Minnesota (1985-89) before becoming the New York Jets defensive coordinator (1990-93) and head coach (1994). He spent two years as San Francisco’s defensive coordinator (1995-96), leading the league in total defense in 1995, before leading New England to a 27-21 record and two playoff appearances as head coach (1997-99). Carroll’s overall head coaching record is 33-31 in the regular season and 1-2 in the postseason.
Carroll began his coaching career at the college level, serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Pacific, for three years (1974-76), working with the wide receivers and secondary. He then spent a season as a graduate assistant working with the secondary at Arkansas (1977) under Lou Holtz as the Razorbacks won the 1978 Orange Bowl, and then a season each as an assistant in charge of the secondary at Iowa State (1978) and at Ohio State (1979). He next spent three seasons (1980-82) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at North Carolina State, before returning to Pacific in 1983 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.
He was a three-sport (football, basketball and baseball) standout at Redwood High in Larkspur, Calif., earning the school’s Athlete of the Year award as a senior. He played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back. He was inducted into the inaugural Redwood High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He then played football at Marin Junior College in Kentfield, Calif., from 1969-70 before transferring to Pacific.
In 2003, he helped develop “A Better L.A.,” a non-profit group consisting of a consortium of local agencies and organizations working to reduce gang violence by empowering change in individuals and communities. In the spring of 2009, he received the Crystal Heart Award from the USC School of Social Work for his involvement with “A Better L.A.” and the Pete Carroll Scholarship was established for students pursuing graduate study in the school. He received the Courageous Leadership Award from Women Against Gun Violence in 2005. In the fall of 2008, he helped organize “L.A. LivePeace 08,” a march and rally at the Coliseum to promote gang intervention and non-violence in Los Angeles.
In 2017, he co-founded the Performance Science Institute, a program in USC’s Marshall School of Business that enables students to understand psychology, emotion, and leadership, with the goal of optimizing individual mindset and creating a culture of high performance in organizations.
He is also co-founder of Compete to Create, a mindset training company that works with businesses to develop high-performing teams and individuals within their companies.
- Competitive Mindset