While Tom Brady may have gotten most of the hype, Philip Rivers also changed teams this offseason. After sixteen seasons with the San Deigo Chargers, the veteran quarterback hit free agency and signed with the Indianapolis Colts. That wasn’t the only career move Rivers made this spring, though.
Although Rivers just inked a one-year, $25 million contract with the Colts, he already has a job lined up for retirement. Whenever he’s had enough of the NFL, there’s a much more humble calling waiting for him in Alabama.
Philip Rivers’ 16-year NFL career
After high school, Philip Rivers had his choice of colleges. The possibility of playing tight end, however, pushed him away from Auburn; ultimately, he enrolled at North Carolina State.
That decision chose to make all the difference, as Rivers spent the next four years as the Wolfpack’s starting quarterback. He ended up starting 51-straight games and throwing for 13,484 yards and 95 touchdowns by the time he graduated.
When the 2004 NFL draft rolled around, Rivers was selected by the New York Giants and promptly shipped to San Diego. While Drew Brees wasn’t a fan of the move, everything eventually worked out. Rivers spent two seasons as the backup before stepping into the starting role; he then held onto that job for the next 14 seasons, never missing a single start.
While the Chargers never reached the promised land, Rivers still managed to cover himself in glory. In his 224 starts with the Chargers, he went 123-101 while throwing for 59,271 yards and 397 touchdowns. For better or worse, he became the face of the San Diego/Los Angeles franchise.
Becoming an incredibly wealthy high school coach
When you spend almost two decades playing professional sports, it’s safe to assume you’ve taken home plenty of money. Philip Rivers is no exception to that rule.
According to Spotrac, the quarterback took home more than $218 million in salary during his time with the Chargers. He’s also due for a $25 million payday this season, thanks to his one-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts. While that’s good enough to build what CelebrityNetWorth.com estimates as an $80 million fortune, the quarterback isn’t resting on his laurels. In fact, he already has a job lined up for when he retires from professional football.
Recently, Rivers accepted the head coaching role at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama. While it’s unclear when the quarterback will call it a career in the NFL—he’s previously suggested that it will happen in the next two years—he’ll step right into a coaching role whenever that time comes.
Philip Rivers isn’t interested in the money
While plenty of pro athletes use their post-playing careers to rake in more money, that isn’t what Philip Rivers has planned. He’s not taking over a lowly high school football team for the prestige or to try to build his coaching resume; he’s trying to live a dream.
“It’s a special day for me and my family, really,” Rivers explained after accepting the coaching role, according to ESPN. “I know I’m going to get a little emotional. I had two childhood dreams. One was to play in the NFL, and I’ve been able to do that now going into my 17th season, and I still love that. The other is to be a high school football coach as my dad did. … How blessed am I to be able to live both of those out, one on the tail end and one in the beginning stages.”
Going from football’s biggest stage to a humble high school coach might seem like a jarring change, but it’s safe to assume Philip Rivers won’t mind. After all, he’s doing it for the love of the game.