Jan 12, 2024
January marks the end of the NFL regular season and the end of the College Football season. During the end of the season for both football leagues, major changes were made in 24 hours. Legendary head coaches, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick, and Nick Saban were all relieved of their duties.
As a young Seahawks fan, Pete Carroll was the only head coach that I watched on my favorite team. For 14 years, he held the position of the Seahawk’s head coach. The energy, the culture, and the influence that he had on the team was second to none. He turned our franchise around and gave up our first Superbowl win. He was just a good guy, that many of his players could attest to. Former Seahawks Cornerback, Richard Sherman said in a reaction posted to his YouTube channel, “He [Pete Carrol] instilled an incredible culture in Seattle, he’s done a ton for the city of Seattle, for the city of L.A., he’s done a ton for football in general”. Richard Sherman was the star cornerback on the “Legion of Boom” and was a part of the Superbowl winning team, back in the 2013-2014 season.
It’s bittersweet to see him go. The decline in play during the last 3ish seasons sort of gave you the impression that his time was coming, but I don’t think that anyone can really fill his shoes. The winning culture that he instilled will be hard to replicate by the coach that we decide to hire next, no matter who they are. Although he was ready and expected to return for another season, the Seahawks franchise chose another path, but even in departure, he was a class-act. He held a 30-minute final press conference, during it, stating, “It’s been an honor and a thrill to be part of this program”.
Shortly after Pete Carroll was relieved of his head coaching job, Bill Belichick parted ways with the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick was known for his no nonsense personality, and his huge role in building the Patriot’s dynasty. Six Superbowls, 17 division titles, even if he chooses to retire now, he will most likely go down as the greatest NFL coach of all time. The GOAT, Tom Brady, expressed his gratitude in an Instagram post, writing, “I’m incredibly grateful to have played for the best coach in the history of the NFL”. It’s hard to imagine the NFL without Carroll leading Seattle and Belichick leading New England. These are two of the most dominant coaches throughout the 2010’s and were a huge part of what I know as a football fan.
Somehow, on that same exact day, Nick Saban, often regarded as the greatest college football coach of all time, retired from coaching. Nick Saban was the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, known as one of the premier college football teams that produce NFL players. NFL running back and former Alabama player, Mark Ingram wrote, “Coach Saban is the GOAT!! Thanks for believing in a young man from Flint, Michigan. Helped me become a champion on the field, but more importantly a champion in LIFE. Enjoy retirement Coach, you earned that!! Love you Coach Saban, ROLL TIDE!!”.
These three coaches have changed the game of football for both the fans and players. It’s tough to see them all go within 24 hours, but it will be interesting to see where those teams go moving forward.