Philip Rivers set to fulfill childhood dream by coaching at a Catholic high school

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Cerith Gardiner | May 20, 2020

At 38 years of age, Phil Rivers already has his retirement from football all laid out. Having just signed up in the off-season with the Indianapolis Colts, the football quarterback is set to impart his football skills with students at St. Michael Catholic High school in Fairhope, Alabama.

When signing up as head coach-in-waiting at the school in Alabama, Rivers shared with Angelus News that he was able to fulfill his second childhood dream.

“It’s a special day for me and my family. I will probably get a little emotional,” said Rivers. “I (had) two childhood dreams. One was playing in the NFL. I still love that. The other was to be a high school football coach as my dad was.” (The quarterback’s dad, Steve, was actually a head coach for many years and is in the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.)

Rivers is thrilled with the plan, saying, “Wow, how blessed am I to be able to live both of those out?”

It is not entirely sure how long it will be before the devout Catholic joins St. Michael. The school’s athletic director, Paul Knapstein, is lined up as interim head coach for the 2020 season, so maybe Rivers will join the school not long after, once he retires from professional playing.

The dad of nine seems the perfect choice for the school.

Principal Faustin Weber explained: “I believe he’s going to be a tremendous influence on the lives of our young men here and their faith life. He brings an infectious optimism and enthusiasm to whatever he does and I think he’s going to really advance our culture here and be a tremendous influence for good.” He added, “Our mission is to build scholars, leaders and disciples of Jesus Christ and I really believe he’s going to help us advance our mission.”

Rivers first developed a relationship with St. Michael through a friend from the area, leading him to run two summer football camps at the school. He believes that God had a part to play in creating this perfect fit between the school and Rivers’ own faith and football skills.

Although he won’t be joining the school right away, Rivers has shared his plans for the varsity team: “Our program will be faith, family and football.” Rivers said. “It will be built on faith, and family will be very important, and we’ll work like crazy at the football part.”

May 22, 2020 - 12:25pm
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