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Coach Pete Carroll

It all began on a fall day back in 2006. I was finalizing my first book Love Your Life and it Will Love You Back when my assistant back then thought it would be a good idea to give Coach Carroll, the USC Football coach a copy of my manuscript. I was hoping that he might endorse my book. When I found out that we were on the list for practice and I was actually going to meet the coach, I assumed that at the very least, I would get him to sign a football and take a picture. For me, that would have been incredible! As practice ended, Coach Carroll trotted my way and we met for the first time. I handed him a copy of my manuscript explaining that I was an alum, did the fan stalking thing and expected nothing from it. The next day was a Friday night and my office phone rang. I let it go to voicemail. When I checked it 24 hours later, I had a message from Pete Carroll saying that he loved the book and shared that he started to tear up on the plane, but he flew with the players and he didn’t want anyone to witness him tearing up. Coach Carroll is one of the most genuine guys I have ever met. He was so gracious letting me go to practice and bringing me in to speak to the team. I was a frequent visitor to practice and games where Coach Carroll would give me passes for the locker room as well as sideline passes. I remember there was a time where I thought USC was not practical for me because of my handicap. Being invited back to USC as an inspirational speaker for the team was completely amazing to me! I was sad to see coach go to Seattle but I found a new NFL team. I went to Seattle a few times to visit Coach Carroll and he treated me with the same sincerity and made me feel right at home. Coach Carroll has a great personality and the perfect combination between goofiness and seriousness. Last time I was hanging out in Seattle, the first thing that he said to me was, “Let me see that beautiful boy of yours.” On Sunday, I had the great honor of watching a friend win the Super Bowl and I cannot be happier for him and his team. p.s. If I know one thing about coach, he’s already thinking about next year and that’s what great people do!

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