One final season for Holmgren
Seattle Times staff reporter
Super Bowl XL
KIRKLAND — Mike and Kathy Holmgren decided Mike has one more season left in him in Seattle. It will be his last.
The Seahawks coach announced his decision to return for the 2008 season Tuesday afternoon at team headquarters. He won't have to make such announcements in the future, he made clear.
"This will be my last year, and we're going to make it the best year ever," Holmgren said. "We're going to work hard to finish the job that I hoped to do when I first came ... and that's get to the Super Bowl and win one. Rest assured, a lot of thought went into the decision, and now it's full speed ahead."
The pronouncement ended questions about Holmgren's future, many of which came up during his season wrap-up news conference on Jan. 15.
At that time, Holmgren said he needed a few days to discuss his future — either leaving the Seahawks or returning to fulfill at least the final year on his contract — with his wife, Kathy, over a short vacation in Arizona. He returned from that trip Monday.
"I was kind of more into, 'I would like to do it again,' " Holmgren said of the talks he and his wife had, "and Kathy was more into, 'You know what? You've done it enough.'
"So during the course of the weekend, it kind of flowed all over the place. But then, there's too many good things that took place, not the least of which is we have a good football team. I guess I just wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to that yet."
In a year, he will, and the Seahawks appear to have a successor in line to become coach. Jim Mora, the assistant head coach and defensive-backs coach, recently turned down a chance at the Washington Redskins' coaching job to stay with the Seahawks, and speculation is that he did so because he will eventually replace Holmgren.
"That's for another press conference, and I won't be there," Holmgren said.
Holmgren, 59, has coached Seattle since 1999, guiding the team to five straight postseason appearances and four consecutive NFC West titles along with a Super Bowl appearance in the 2005 season.
He came to Seattle from the Green Bay Packers with an eight-year contract, then signed a two-year extension just before the last year of that original deal in 2006. That was just a few months removed from the team's only Super Bowl appearance.
Holmgren was the Seahawks' general manager along with being coach from 1999 to 2002 before relinquishing the GM position. Tim Ruskell has been Seattle's GM since 2005.
Holmgren said last week he might consider another contract extension, but ultimately his choices came down to either walking away or finishing his contract.
"It really came down to Plan A or Plan B the whole time," he said.
Holmgren's record with Green Bay and Seattle is 170-110, one win behind Joe Gibbs for 10th in NFL history. He is 82-62 (not including a 4-6 playoff mark) in nine seasons with Seattle and passed Chuck Knox this season for most victories by a Seahawks coach in franchise history.
Holmgren pledged to "go after it hard" next season, and there will be some changes to his staff. Bill Laveroni is out as offensive line coach after that unit struggled last season, and offensive assistant Keith Gilbertson replaces departed Nolan Cromwell as wide-receivers coach. An offensive quality-control coach is also needed after Gary Reynolds joined Cromwell.
But for the short term, Holmgren isn't going anywhere. This area is home to him and his daughters and grandchildren. And that was OK with Kathy.
"She's making me fill out this little contract," Holmgren said. "Upon completion of your last game, the laundry, the garbage, the whole deal."
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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