Philip Rivers announced his retirement from the NFL after 17 seasons on Wednesday, but the next chapter of his career in football is already in motion.
In fact, it has been for months.
Rivers was hired as the head football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Alabama in August and is now slated to take over the program full-time with his playing days behind him.
“I can sit here and say, ‘I can still throw it. I love to play,’” Rivers said, per the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But that’s always going to be there. I’m excited to go coach high school football.”
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Rivers grew up in Alabama and starred for his father, Steve Rivers, at Athens High School before ascending to N.C. State. While in Raleigh, Rivers shattered nearly every program passing record en route to becoming the fourth pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Chargers. He took over as San Diego’s starting quarterback in 2006 and remained with the organization until 2019, when he hit free agency and opted to sign a one-year, $25 million contract with the Colts to play the final season of his career in Indianapolis.
The 39-year-old Rivers finishes his career ranked fifth all-time with 63,440 passing yards and 421 touchdown passes. He also started the final 240 games of his career, a streak second only to Brett Farve’s 297 consecutive starts under center.
Rivers will now hit the ground running as a head coach, with the hopes of being ready to go for spring practice.
“It’s a special day for me and for my family,” Rivers said when hired. “I’ve had two childhood dreams—one was to play in the NFL, and I’ve been doing that going on my 17th year. The other was to be a high school football coach. How blessed am I to live both of these out?”