Jan. 11, 2010

Pete Carroll Timeline | The Pete Carroll Era in Photos | Pete Carroll By The Numbers

SEATTLE (AP) -Pete Carroll is gone from USC and back in the NFL.

After days of talks, the Seattle Seahawks hired the charismatic coach Monday, luring him away from the University of Southern California.

"The nine years at USC have been the best years of my coaching life," Carroll said in a statement released by the university. "I will forever be indebted for the opportunity to represent this great university and would like to extend my thanks to President Sample and Mike Garrett for giving me the chance.

The Seahawks chief executive Tod Leiweke spent Sunday finalizing the contract for the 58-year-old Carroll.

On Friday, the team fired coach Jim Mora following just one season. Seattle forced general manager and president Tim Ruskell to leave on Dec. 3. The moves left them rudderless less than four years after the Seahawks reached the Super Bowl.

Until now.

"We are excited to add Pete as our coach. He brings a great passion for winning and a positive attitude that is contagious," Leiweke said upon his return to Seattle.

The Seahawks are expected to formally introduce Carroll at their headquarters in Renton, Wash., on Tuesday.

Carroll was 6-10 in 1994 with the Jets and then 27-21 while twice reaching the playoffs from '97-99 with the Patriots - before he restored a dynasty at USC beginning in 2001.

"The university graciously approached me to stay but this choice is about pursuing the great challenges of competing in the NFL and I found this opportunity too compelling to pass up," Carroll said.

Carroll was 97-19 and won two national championships with USC. He leaves following his worst season since his first at the school and with the NCAA investigating the program.