Quick note: Thanks to Eric for putting up an early post while I was in the Hawks locker room. I’ve added some more quotes to the post. — Divish
The Seattle Seahawks introduced former St. Louis Blues CEO Peter McLoughlin as the team’s new president of the Seattle Seahawks, Sounders FC and First & Goal Inc.
“Consider me a new member of the 12th Man,” McLoughlin said. “I’m here to be a great fan of both teams, to work hard, serve the fans, give back to the community and to help John and Pete (Carroll) and the Sounders have the resources to put championships in the Seattle community. I just couldn’t be happier to be here.”
McLoughlin was at Qwest for the season opener with the 49ers.
“The noise level on third down plays and the illegal procedure calls against the 49ers, what a contribution,” McLoughlin said. “I got to walk around the stadium with Tod. He was high-fiving fans and the next thing I know, I was high-fiving fans. I said, ‘this just feels right.'”
Joining McLoughlin on the stage were departing CEO Tod Leiweke, Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Bert Kolde, one of Allen’s trusted advisors with Vulcan, Inc.
During the press conference Leiweke was asked how the structure would be moving forward, and his answer seemed to indicate that both Carroll and Schneider would continue to control football operations, similar to structure Leiweke presided over when he had the job. Schneider and Carroll also will report directly to Allen.
“Peter is going to be the president of the two teams,” Leieweke said. “He was a guy that wasn’t caught up in titles. President just seemed to identify what he’s going to do. The fact is that the football reports to ownership. One of the cool things about his candidacy was that he said to me: ‘These football guys have forgotten more about football than I’ll ever know.'” He wasn’t coming here to draw plays or draft players. So that was part of the fit we talked about. That football will continue to report ownership. Peter will do everything he can to support it.”
McLoughlin will still have some jurisdiction over the annual budgets for both teams.
“But this is the structure like most NFL teams, and in fact that’s really how it worked for us, under my leadership,” Leiweke said.
Schneider seemed positive about the hiring.
“When Coach Carroll and I came here, there were really attributes that were important to us: communication, support – having supportive people and staff around you and having positive forward thinkers,” Schneider said. “Tod clearly had those attributes. And after we were able sit down and talk to the finalists for this job, it was evident to Coach Carroll and I that Peter shared those same attributes.”
Schneider said it was important for he and Carroll there wouldn’t be a huge change.
“It was a very comfortable situation for us,” Schneider said. “We wanted to turn this into a cutting edge organization that everyone would be chasing, there was no question after meeting with Peter he would help us do that.”
McLoughlin was just as complimentary of Schneider and Carroll.
“The time I spent with John and Pete Carroll was really quite special,” McLoughlin said. “What energy, what enthusiasm, what a vision for winning and competing. I did read Pete’s book. It’s a great read. I just felt a great rapport right from the very beginning. I’m here to support John and Pete and put a championship football team on the field.”
Kolde said that McLoughlin, 53, showed some of the same characteristics they found in Leiweke when the Seahawks hired him from the NHL’s Minnesota Wild seven years ago. He also came recommended by league commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Tod made a big difference to the fan base,” Kolde said. “And I think Peter will carry that forward.”
Leiweke said he will stay with the team for a short time to help with the transition before leaving to Florida to take on his new job as part owner and head of the Tampa Bay Lightning.