Former NFL QB Philip Rivers Wins Debut Game as HS Football Coach

Adam WellsAugust 27, 2021

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

The next phase of Philip Rivers' life as a high school football coach is off to an excellent start. 

In his debut game coaching the St. Michael Catholic Cardinals, Rivers' squad defeated McIntosh by a final score of 49-0 on Thursday night. 

Speaking to reporters after the victory, Rivers called the game "special" and spoke about what it meant for him to do that with his family watching in the stands. 

"Shoot, I'm looking over and dad's standing on the track, mom's in the stands, my boys are spotting the ball, my brother is here coaching ... it was that kind of night," he said. 

Ben Thomas @BenThomasPreps

Longtime NFL QB Philip Rivers talks about the pure joy of high school football following his first win as a head coach at St. Michael. <a href="https://t.co/uFKolVujrV">pic.twitter.com/uFKolVujrV</a>

Rivers was hired by St. Michael Catholic in Alabama in May 2020, though he didn't officially take over until announcing his retirement from the NFL in January. The nine-time Pro Bowler played high school football in Alabama at Athens High School, where his father was the head coach. 

In an interview with Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times earlier this month, Rivers did leave the door open for a potential NFL comeback. 

"I'm getting back there," he said. "I wouldn't have made weight if I had to report last week, that's for sure. But I am getting back into the lifting and running, and shoot, I occasionally throw a ball around out here in this heat. It's not too hard to get a good lather going."

Rivers spent 17 seasons in the NFL from 2004-20. He played the first 16 years of his career with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, leading the franchise to six playoff appearances and four AFC West titles. 

After the Chargers decided to move in a different direction, Rivers signed with the Indianapolis Colts in March 2020 as a free agent. He led the team to an 11-5 record and a postseason berth. They lost to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Round.