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Sports

Seahawks lock up coach Pete Carroll with extension

Seahawks lock up coach Pete Carroll with extension
Seattle Seahawks NFL football head coach Pete Carroll talks to reporters during a news conference Friday, April 4, 2014, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Marcus R. Donner)
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SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Seahawks locked up coach Pete Carroll with a three-year contract extension Friday after he led the franchise to its first Super Bowl title.

The extension runs through the 2016 season. Carroll's original five-year deal, signed with the team in January 2010, was set to expire after next season.

"This was a huge priority for us coming into the offseason," Seattle general manager John Schneider said. "We knew it was around the corner and it was quite honestly we're trying to take care of our own people and keep our young players together but where do you start? You start at the top."

Carroll has proven his attitude and approach can work in the NFL during his third stint as a head coach at the pro level. He's preached competition with his players and it has shown results with the emergence of stars like quarterback Russell Wilson and cornerback Richard Sherman.

Carroll is 38-26 in four regular seasons with Seattle and 5-2 in the playoffs. At age 62, Carroll is the second-oldest head coach in the NFL. He is one of just seven current coaches who have won a Super Bowl title. It was a crowning achievement for Carroll to raise the Lombardi Trophy after struggles in his two previous stints as an NFL head coach with the New York Jets and New England.

"I think it's really exciting, it's really a statement of our commitment and our staying power and opportunity to do something special here," Carroll said.

He came to Seattle because of something he didn't have in his two previous stops as an NFL head coach: control. Seattle gave him the reins to the franchise, and hired him before adding Schneider to the mix, a relationship that has been marked by stability and success.

Carroll lacked control in his previous positions with the Patriots and Jets. But after nearly a decade of winning at Southern California and having that say, it was something Carroll sought if he was going to get back into the professional ranks. The Seahawks were willing.

"I loved my time at USC and I was having the time of my life being part of that wonderful school and all the things that we were doing," Carroll said. "But I knew there was another challenge out there and that was coming to the league."

Seattle also let Carroll imprint his attitude on the locker room. He wanted a fun atmosphere filled with accountability. Competition was at the crux of everything Carroll did from the day he inherited a 5-11 team.

After a pair of 7-9 seasons, the Seahawks surged in 2012 after drafting Wilson. The Seahawks went 11-5 in the regular season and reached the divisional round of the playoffs. The roster turnover Carroll and Schneider started when they arrived had been completed and there were massive expectations going into 2013.

Seattle exceeded them. Carroll guided the Seahawks to 13 wins in the regular season, the NFC West title and home-field advantage in the playoffs. Seattle knocked off New Orleans in the divisional round then edged San Francisco in the NFC title game to reach its second Super Bowl.

At the Super Bowl, Carroll got to celebrate the way he did watching USC's run of dominance in the mid-2000s. Seattle's defense stifled the highest scoring offense in NFL history, humbling Denver in a 43-8 beating to give Seattle its first title.
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