Coach Pete Carroll returned to Los Angeles last weekend to attend his son Nate’s graduation from USC.
And while he was back on the campus he worked on for nine years, he got a little added bonus.
A total of 31 of his former Trojan players received their diplomas during the university’s commencement ceremonies on Friday, pleasantly surprising their former head coach, who called the plethora of graduates “one of my proudest moments as a coach.”
“I was hollering at the players as they walked by and one after another, I started adding them up and I realized it was so many guys,” Carroll said. “I had no idea that many were graduating. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a better year.”
The roll call of graduates included a handful of players who came back to complete their degrees after leaving USC for the NFL, along with numerous athletes who graduated in the usual four or five years. Carroll said he was simply proud of his players for rising to a high standard, and that he hoped the long list of grads “will set things in motion for Kiff [new coach Lane Kiffin] and hopefully they can keep it going.”
“The goal for all the guys was to get a good education and have a great football experience,” Carroll said. “When you see all those graduates, you realize it’s more than you could ask for.
“I’m just really grateful.”