Retired NFL star Jason Witten named head coach at Texas HS

FRISCO, Texas -- Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has been named head football coach at Liberty Christian in Argyle, Texas.

Witten passed on several NFL and major college football opportunities as an assistant coach to opt to coach at the school his children attend. He joins former Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers, who retired after a 17-year career, in moving from the NFL to high school. Rivers will coach at St. Michael Catholic in Fairhope, Alabama.

"Faith. Family. Football," Witten said in a statement released by the school. "In this next chapter, it is important to me to be the best father and husband I can be, while making a positive impact in the community and share the wisdom I've accumulated over the years to positively impact the next generation."

"I am very excited about Jason coming on board and joining the Liberty Christian coaching staff," Liberty athletic director Johnny Isom said. "We have an extremely talented, hard-working group of coaches and he will undoubtedly prove to be a wonderful addition. The football program will be in great hands under his leadership and I cannot wait to see the impact that he will have on the lives of athletes."

Last week, Witten announced his retirement from the NFL after a 17-year career and he intends to sign a one-day contract with the Cowboys in March once his contract with the Las Vegas Raiders expires.

Witten, 38, played 16 seasons with the Cowboys and spent 2020 with the Raiders. No tight end in NFL history has played more games than Witten's 271 and only Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez has more receptions and yards at the position.

He first retired after the 2017 season and spent 2018 as ESPN's Monday Night Football analyst, but he opted to return to the Cowboys in 2019.

Witten, a third-round pick in 2003, was named to the Pro Bowl 11 times, tied with Hall of Fame defensive lineman Bob Lilly for the most in Dallas history. He is the Cowboys' all-time leader in receptions (1,215) and yards (12,977) and is second in touchdown catches (72). He had four 1,000-yard seasons and in 2012 set the record for most catches in a season by a tight end (110) that has since been broken.

Witten had 1,228 catches for 13,046 yards, the second-most in both categories by a tight end in NFL history. His receptions are the fourth-most in NFL history.

He played in a team-record 255 games, including a franchise-record 245 starts, missing just one game in his career because of a broken jaw as a rookie. He had 13 catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders.