ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Seattle Seahawks are targeting USC head coach Pete Carroll for their vacant head coaching position. These sources also indicate that Carroll is interested in the Seahawks head coaching position, and that he is currently trying to persuade USC offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to leave with him.
As of now, the Seahawks have not commented on which direction the head coach search will take, but Chris Mortensen told ESPN that rumors surrounding Seattle's interest in Carroll were so strong that, "at this point, it would be surprise if it did not happen."
Pete Carroll has spent nine years at USC, amassing a 97-19 record, along with seven consecutive conference championships and two national championships.
Before the Seattle Seahawks rumors began, several college football analysts questioned whether Carroll would depart USC for the NFL. The move makes sense for Carroll, as USC could be on the downturn from a historic dynasty. Additionally, in terms of marquee talent, USC recently lost its game changing running back, Joe McKnight, to the NFL Draft.
Carroll has two previous stints in the NFL. He coached the New York Jets for one year in 1994, going 6-10. More famously, he coached the New England Patriots from 1997-1999, winning one conference title in 1999. Carroll was fired by the Patriots after a disappointing 1999 season, paving the way for current head coach Bill Belichick.
Prior to Pete Carroll's name being thrown into the fray, the Seattle Seahawks were rumored to be pursuing the usual suspects in the coaching carousel; former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and current Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, to name a few.
The Seattle Seahawks have not announced whether they will address their general manager position or head coaching vacancy first. Most pundits agree that the general manager position should be filled, and the general manager should then hire a coach of his choosing.
These rumors are ready to buck that trend, however, as Mortensen believes that the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll are near an agreement.