Off the field, Pete Carroll is an evangelist for better living
Friday, November 29, 2013 at 2:31PM
A Better Seattle

Seattle Time's Jerry Brewer profile's A Better Seattle and their work in Auburn, Kenton, SeaTac, Renton and Tukwila.

Pete Carroll is on pause, it seems. He’s not thinking about five other things. The words coming from his mouth are slow and thoughtful, not the usual stampede of insight and wit. He’s actually in the moment.

“There’s no bull(bleep) here,” Carroll says. “There’s no bull(bleep). This is the real deal. We’re talking about life and death.”

The spry Seahawks coach surely has coffee beans for blood cells, but on this March day, he’s leaning forward on a couch in his office and making sure I match his eye contact. During the busy football season, he can come across as a preoccupied public figure. Not now. He’s talking about something even more important to him than winning forever.

“Listen to me,” he says. “This is amazing stuff.”

Carroll came to Seattle four years ago as a rock star with an awkward charisma. He won two college national championships at USC, and the story was that he returned to the NFL, where he had been fired twice before, to diminish the red ink on his career and complete his legacy. But with Carroll, there’s always more.

At USC, Carroll learned he had the power to “convene people for a purpose.” First, he won on the field, and then he tried to effect change off it. Tired of hearing about gang-related deaths on the radio during his drive to work, Carroll founded a nonprofit organization called A Better LA 10 years ago. His efforts to apply his team-building philosophy and restore peace in inner-city Los Angeles gained national attention as he walked the crime-infested streets and spoke with gang leaders.

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