This week, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll celebrated his 69th birthday.
In January 2020, Carroll celebrated his 10th season as the head coach of the Seahawks. His aggressive gum chewing and classic khaki pants on game days are just a few of Carroll’s iconic coaching tactics.
Over the past eight seasons with general manager John Schneider, Seattle has posted an 86-41-1 record, back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in 2013-14, posted 10-plus wins in five consecutive seasons (2012-16) for the first time in franchise history, including seven of the last eight seasons, and won four NFC West Division titles.
Carroll has continued year after year to make the upper left corner of the United States a dominant NFL franchise.
On Sunday, Carroll will face a familiar coaching foe and one that has too dominated the NFL game: New England head coach Bill Belichick.
His cut-off sweatshirts, monotonous answers during press conferences, but more importantly, his football mind have made him a genius on the field for many, many years. Belichick is 68 years old.
When the Seahawks and Patriots kickoff at 5:20 PM (PT) on Sunday Night Football, it will be a historical night for Carroll and Belichick.
According to Michael David Smith of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, “The combined age of 137 years makes this the oldest coaching matchup in NFL history, according to the NFL’s research department.”
The previous record was set in 1995, when 70-year-old Marv Levy’s Bills played 65-year-old Don Shula’s Dolphins. The oldest coach in NFL history was George Halas, who continued coaching the Bears until just a couple months short of his 73rd birthday.
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As the oldest head coach in the NFL, Carroll shows no signs of slowing down. When asked on Wednesday about how he keeps the gears going, he said smiling:
“First off, I'm not taking any of those drugs that they show on TV all the time,” Carroll said. “I don't take any of those things (smiling). I'm more of a naturalist.”
That’s good to hear.
Next year, Carroll will turn 70 years old and if Seahawks fans or the NFL think he will set down the headset anytime soon, rethink that until at least 2025.
“I’m feeling great,” Carroll said about his health. “I’m kind of on a five-year plan. Five years from now I’ll figure it out and reassess.”
Both Carroll and Belichick are two of the greatest minds in the game of football. It's been a long run for both coaches in the NFL, and the two share certain similar coaching philosophies. Here's what Carroll said on their coaching traits:
"I know that he is, and I know that I am, very fundamental coaches in this game as far as the tactical part of it, the technical part of it, the principles of playing good ball, executing, not giving your opponent much. We're both real committed in that sense. I think it's kind of a general football outlook. The two of us, the two teams, have really played similar in a lot of areas in terms of big numbers and stuff, turnovers, winning games, divisions, stuff like that."
Sunday Night Football kicks off at 5:20 PM (PT) on NBC. Be sure to follow our Seahawks Insider Joe Fann (@joe_fann on Twitter) throughout the day!