Pete Carroll looked to be resurrecting his head coaching reputation in New England back in 1997, making the playoffs in each of his first two seasons.
But he just had to wait a little longer to truly be thought of as one of the NFL's coaching giants.
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That's why this Super Bowl will be an emotional one for Carroll, who will try and win his second consecutive championship against the team that fired him after three years and a 27-21 record.
"It's really fun. Who cares? But it's really fun," Carroll said Monday on KIRO-AM. "It's a little bit personal because we were there and it's a great place and I have great respect for what they have done, the family, what they have pulled off over the years. The Kraft family, they've done amazing things, historic things in the league and in the last 15 years or however long it's been ... They've been the best of the best and they've proven it. So we're fortunate to get a chance to get to play a team like this and a club like this."
The bizarre thing is that getting fired by the Patriots was probably the best thing to ever happen to Carroll, then a middling coaching prospect who caught on with USC a year later.
His dramatic rise at the University of Southern California helped him build valuable NFL connections and, once again, get looked at as a viable NFL coaching option.
While there might still be some bitterness there, Carroll can't be too upset. He was able to walk into -- and help build -- a potential dynasty in the making.