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Phillip Rivers to take over St. Michael football program

Fairhope, AL – Indianapolis Colts quarterback Phillip Rivers was named the future head football coach at Fairhope’s St. Michael Catholic High School on Friday.

The former Athens High, North Carolina State and San Diego Chargers standout will officially take over as the Cardinals head football coach when he retires from the NFL. He signed a one-year, $25 million deal with the Colts in March.

“It’s a special day for me and my family, really,” Rivers said in a news conference. “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.”

Rivers spent the first 16 years of his NFL career with the San Diego Charges after being acquired by the franchise in a 2004 draft-day trade with the New York Giants for Eli Manning. The Chargers announced in February that they were not going to re-sign Rivers, who said in March that he had briefly thought about retiring.

Rivers, who has started 224 straight games, has thrown for 59,271 yards and 397 touchdowns to go with eight Pro Bowl invitations in his career. He became the first player in league history to have five straight games with a passer rating of 120 in a single season in 2014.

“My dad was my high school football coach, so I want to coach my boys and I want to coach young boys down the road. So I do know what’s next when my playing time’s over.

Rivers father Steve served as a head football coach in Alabama for 21 years, spending time at Pelham, Decatur and Athens high schools compiling a 152-79 record including 10 region titles and 12 postseason appearances. When Phillip signed with NC State following the 1999 season Steve accepted the head coaching position at startup Wakefield High in Raleigh, NC to be near his son. When Phillip was drafted by the Chargers in 2004, Dad moved the family to Southern California to keep the Rivers clan together.

St. Michael athletic director Paul Knapstein will take over as the Cardinals head football coach until Rivers NFL career comes to an end.