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The Pete Carroll Years at USC

By Edited Aug 3, 2015 0 0

The University of Southern California (USC) has fielded a college football team since 1888. As proud members of the Pac 10 Conference they have always had a winning tradition. USC has won 11 national championships and consistently competed for championships. Over the past 10 years they have elevated their play to become one of the two or three most elite teams and programs in the country. They have found a home at the top of the AP, USA Today and BCS polls. Much of this success has come while head coach Pete Carroll was in charge of the Trojans.

USC Trojans

The hiring of Coach Carroll in 2000 was not met with much excitement from the Trojan community. His experience as an NFL head coach with little recent college experience was not looked at favorably by fans and alumni. He also wasn't the first choice for the job. USC first choice was the head coach at Oregon State, then the head coach from Oregon. Their third choice was Mike Riley from the San Diego Chargers. They eventually had to "settle" for Pete Carroll. The odd thing was that USC had tried to hire Carroll three years previous, but he was unable to get out of his contract with the New England Patriots. In the end, Carroll wanted the job and openly campaigned for it as he saw it as a perfect fit for him, his family and the school. In hindsight, he was very correct on this one.

Early on during Pete Carroll's regime they gave the fans and media plenty of ammunition against his hiring. The 2001 season began with 2 wins and 5 losses. Everyone believed that the fall of the Trojans was imminent and called for the firing of Carroll.

Coach Pete Carroll had faith in his players and his system. He very quickly turned things around and gained the trust, respect and admiration of fans, players and media. The players believed in his system and in their coach and the team began to win and win and win. The USC Trojans went on an unprecedented run where they won 67 of their next 74 games! They won two national championships and re-established USC football as an elite college football program. They also won every PAC 10 Conference championship between 2003 and 2008.

Winning has a way of erasing bad feelings. Everyone has since forgotten the early turmoil surrounding his hiring and the teams struggles during his first season as head coach. The hiring of Pete Carroll at USC is now looked at as one of the best hires of all time as he established a winning attitude and brought massive success to a proud institution.



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