San Jose Mercury

49ers unappealing to USC's Carroll
February 04, 2003

By Dennis Georgatos
Mercury News

Rumors that USC Coach Pete Carroll would be a candidate for the 49ers' head-coaching job were quashed Monday by Carroll.

Carroll, who had head-coaching stints with the New York Jets (1994) and New England Patriots (1997-99) around a two-season stay with the 49ers as a defensive coordinator in 1995-96, said he is happy as a college coach and has no desire to return to the NFL.

``I'm excited about being at USC and plan on being here a long, long time,'' said Carroll, who signed a five-year deal upon coming to USC two years ago. ``I've made that commitment to my players, staff and recruits.''

Carroll was eager to dispel the rumors, which arose from talk-radio shows in Southern California, because of the start of a two-day period in which schools can't contact prospective recruits. The dead period precedes Wednesday's national signing day for the recruits.

``Anyone continuing these rumors is only trying to make us look bad, but I understand that because we're having a great recruiting year and they're trying hard to beat us,'' Carroll said.

Defensive coordinators Jim Mora of the 49ers, Romeo Crennel of New England, Ted Cottrell of the Jets and Greg Blache of the Chicago Bears are the only confirmed candidates for the 49ers job, which has been vacant since Steve Mariucci was fired Jan. 15.

Blache interviewed with General Manager Terry Donahue on Monday, a 49ers spokesman said.

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