Retired NFL QB Philip Rivers wins high school coaching debut

Former quarterback Philip Rivers is eighth all time with 134 regular-season NFL wins, but the one he earned on Thursday might hold a special place in his heart.

Rivers, who retired after last season, is now 1-0 as a high school football coach in his native Alabama.

The eight-time Pro Bowler led the St. Michael Catholic Cardinals to a 49-0 victory on a night he described as being "special."

"It's the process that makes it awesome," Rivers said after the win. "Tonight was special. 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."

Rivers was hired as the team's coach in 2020, with the plan in place for him to take over the program whenever his playing days were over. After 16 seasons with the Chargers and one with the Indianapolis Colts, that time came for Rivers in 2021.

Rivers is following in his father's footsteps as a high school coach. Steve Rivers coached his son at Athens (Ala.) High School, where Philip was an all-state QB before going on to play at NC State. Philip Rivers has said he hopes to coach his two sons in high school someday, but earlier this month he left the door open to a potential return to the NFL.

"I have not completely ruled that out," Rivers told the Los Angeles Times of possibly making a late-season return to the NFL, noting that he's staying in shape in case a situation presents itself.