LOS ANGELES, CA (AP) -- Pete Carroll says he's leaving Southern California to become coach of the Seattle Seahawks because he could not pass up the challenge.
The Seahawks hired the charismatic coach away from USC on Monday.
At a news conference later on USC's campus, Carroll said "It hurts to separate."
Carroll's departure ends one of the most successful runs in college football history. He was 97-19, with two national championships and seven Pac-10 titles in nine seasons at USC.
He also leaves with the football program facing an NCAA investigation.
Carroll says his decision to leave has nothing to do with the investigation. He says he thought he would be at USC "forever."
But he says he could not pass up the opportunity with Seattle.