Philip Rivers returned to the football field over the weekend for the first time since his NFL retirement. But it wasn’t in uniform.
The former Chargers and Colts quarterback completed his first spring game with St. Michael Catholic High School in his home state of Alabama. His team tied Alma Bryant 14-14 in the exhibition contest that served as a good opportunity for the newly minted coach to get his feet wet.
“It’s a little bit different,” Rivers said of being on the sideline calling the shots. “I’m not in uniform right now getting ready to play. That’s for sure. But it feels like home. People have been great.”
Rivers was announced as the St. Michael Catholic coach in May 2020, but it was confirmed that he wouldn’t take up coaching until after his NFL career came to an end. After spending the ’20 season with the Colts, Rivers elected to call it quits and move on to the next phase of his life.
And as Rivers stated, he enjoys that high school football is “about more than the game.”
“Certainly the game’s a fun part of it, but hopefully it’s more than the game and they do learn a lot of lessons,” Rivers said.
St. Michael’s football program started in 2017 and to date has posted a 5-25 record. Rivers will have his work cut out for him in bringing the team to the next level, but he has faith that the team will grow and improve during his first season in charge.
“I do think that we can do some good things this season,” Rivers said. “But if we just focus on the process as a young school and still early in the program, then it’ll bode well for us down the road.”
While Rivers begins the next phase of his career, his former teams are doing the same. The Chargers are entering the second year of the Justin Herbert era while the Colts swung a big offseason trade to acquire Carson Wentz from the Eagles.