Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has retired and will be the new head football coach at a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Mobile, Ala. CNS photo/courtesy Indianapolis Colts

Star QB retires on feast of athletes’ patron

By  Rob Herbst, Catholic News Service
  • January 29, 2021

FAIRHOPE, Ala. -- After 17 seasons in the NFL, quarterback Philip Rivers will begin his next career as head football coach at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope in the Mobile, Ala., archdiocese.

In May, the school named Rivers “head coach-in-waiting” whenever his playing career was over. Rivers played this past season with the Indianapolis Colts and announced his retirement from the NFL Jan. 20, the feast of St. Sebastian, patron saint of athletes.

“Every year, Jan. 20 is a special and emotional day. It is St. Sebastian’s feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day after 17 seasons I am announcing my retirement from the NFL,” Rivers said in a statement released by the school.

The 39-year-old Rivers reached eight Pro Bowls and ranks fifth in NFL history with 63,440 passing yards. He led the Colts to an 11-5 record and an NFL playoff berth before they fell 27-24 to the Buffalo Bills in the opening round of the postseason.

“What has helped me come to this (decision) is the growing desire to coach high school football,” Rivers said. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been growing. I can’t wait.”

Rivers will follow in the footsteps of his father, Steve, a longtime high school football coach who’s in the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Rivers and his wife, Tiffany, are parents of nine children.

“We’re both thrilled and humbled about Philip joining our staff,” St. Michael principal Faustin Weber said.

“He’s devout in his faith, he’s a good father and husband, and he’ll be a great leader and example to our young men.” 

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.