Former USC, Seahawks Coach Rocky Seto Talks Leaving Coaching to Become Pastor

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2017

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman hugs Rocky Seto before the NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Rocky Seto spent 11 seasons as an assistant for the USC Trojans and seven seasons as an assistant for the Seattle Seahawks. But he decided to give up that career path after the 2016 season with the Seahawks for a different path altogether: becoming a pastor.

"I can't think of a place I would rather be," he told David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times.

Seto had long been interested in becoming a minister, but he decided to make the change once his contract with Seattle was up for renewal after the 2016 season.

"Rocky and I talked about this for years and years," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told Wharton. "He had an enormous decision to make."

"It was emotional," Carroll added of Seto's ultimate decision to leave the team. "Rocky was a loved guy around here."

Seto left the Seahawks to become a pastor at the Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley in La Puente, California. Some of the lessons he learned coaching have translated to his new career path.

"I thought coaches and pastors were very similar," he told Wharton. "They both mentor."

He added: "As a football coach, players came to me with life issues, from marriage to pregnancy stuff, all kinds of things. Pastoring is a little more challenging."

While he enjoyed his time as a coach, Seto believes he has found his calling in ministry.

"I don't deserve this [job]," he tells people about becoming a pastor, per Wharton. "I received this only by the grace of God."