The other Pete Carroll

Associated Press photo

Associated Press photo

            In spite of coaching the Seattle Seahawks to a Super Bowl win,  Pete Carroll has his detractors.

            Boy, does he have detractors.

            Some claimed before Sunday that he wasn’t an NFL-type coach. Others criticized him for the NCAA problem that occurred when he coached at USC.

            Sports blogs were all over Carroll on Sunday, claiming the coach is insufferably cocky.

            I don’t know Carroll, have never interviewed him. But from what I can tell, he isn’t the bad guy some would believe.

            A friend of mine named Mike Candrian grew up in Marin County, California, in the same neighborhood as Carroll. They played youth sports together. Nearly a decade ago, Mike arranged to see Carroll when the Trojans came to Provo to play BYU.  Mike met the coach as the team buses arrived at Edwards Stadium for the walk-through. The two hadn’t seen one another in years, but Mike said the Carroll was genuinely happy to see him, allowing him into the closed practice and even tossing a football with him.

            Some time after that, Mike contacted Carroll in hopes of getting an autographed USC schedule. The reason was that Mike had another friend whose son was terminally ill.  The boy was a big USC fan and Mike thought the gesture would lift his spirits.

            Carroll sent a game-used, autographed USC helmet, signed by five all-Americas, including Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and LenDale White.

            It is said you can tell much about someone by the way he treats those who can’t do anything for him. Maybe you can also tell something by how he treats those he knew in his youth.

            By that measure, Carroll isn’t nearly as cocky as some might think.

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