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Mindful : December 2014
it’s not about garnering attention, but connecting one-on-one with troubled young men and trying to help them re-envision their lives. When Dave Boling, a sports colum- nist for Tacoma’s The News Tribune, first encountered Carroll he thought he was a typical “pep-talk” coach, all glib and shiny without much substance. But he changed his opinion when he inter- viewed two veteran L.A . cops who’d worked with Carroll and called him their “hero.” These were “hard-edge, no B.S .” guys who had each lost partners to gang violence. They said that Carroll’s ability to bring attention to the problem was important, wrote Boling, “but the bigger thing is that he’s for real, and goes out in the middle of the night for heart-to-heart talks with these kids and their families.” Yogi Roth recalls going out one night with Carroll to visit a crime-torn neigh- borhood in L.A . and ending up standing under a street lamp together at 2 a.m . “ Why do you do this, man?” Roth asked Pete. “ I kind of have to.” “ But it’s your birthday today,” “ What else am I going to do?” replied Ca rroll, laughing. “This is what I have to do.” To Roth, this was a sign of Carroll’s intuitive sense of compassion. Compassion isn’t a word bandied about that often in NFL locker rooms. But it’s one of the qualities that the Seat- tle players admire most about Carroll. As wide receiver Doug Baldwin puts it, “I was raised to believe that a leader should ser ve others. And Coach Carroll is like that. Everything he does is to serve others.” ● Coach Carroll (middle) savors Super Bowl XLVIII win with team owner Paul Allen (left) and general manager John Schneider (right), February 2, 2014. Hugh Delehanty is a former editor for Sports Illustrated, People, Utne Reader, and AARP The Magazine and the co-author with NBA coach Phil Jackson of the #1 New York Times bestseller Eleven Rings. PHOTOGRAPHBYMARKJ.REBILAS-USATODAYSPORTS Carroll took his approach to the streets to connect one-on-one with troubled young men and help them re-envision their lives. December 2014 mindful 53