Catching up with Pete Carroll, Part II


Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Part two of our chat with USC coach Pete Carroll. At one point during the interview, Carroll notes that a Brazilian gymnast Diego Hypolito looks like California coach Jeff Tedford, "How's the team, Jeff?," he quipped.

The new coach at UCLA, Rick Neuheisel, has talked about you guys a lot. Obviously, that's part of firing up his fans. Do you feel challenged by that?

Pete Carroll: Nah. He can say whatever he wants. He's a great candidate for them. A great guy to get, a great coach to get. It's really cool they got him. He's been a winner. I think he's going to do really well. But stuff that he says, he's said stuff focused on his players, his program and his people. So he can say whatever he wants.

You seem so invested in this community in around LA with your charitable foundation -- A Better LA -- and success with USC: Do you feel like you could retire here? Is this your lifetime gig?

PC: I am prepared to do that. That's the way I look at it, like this is the last job I'm ever going to have. I approach it that way. Now, whether it is or not, I don't know. Someone asked me the other day, 'Does that mean you're never going to leave?' Why do people want to make you say that? I have no idea, but I can't imagine doing anything else. It's a great place to be. I've been so lucky and fortunate. I owe so much to the school and the people who follow it. And the guys who played for us. I love being here.

I guess people wonder that if you coached 10 more years, and things stayed the same in terms of winning, it's going to be a historically amazing run.

PC: I haven't coached 10 years yet. I'm just trying to coach 10 more games.

I'm saying if you did. There's never been a moment when you've paused over the historical significance of this?

PC: No. When you're goal is to win forever, you don't think that way. Somewhere down the road, when I'm an old guy walking out here for the last time, you might look back and see what you did. But I'm too immersed in what's going on now. And it wouldn't matter anyway. Why would I want to do that? I don't even see the reason for it. I'm in the midst of the battle right now.