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Philip Rivers takes over as head football coach at St. Michael in Fairhope

By LACEY BEASLEY

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    FAIRHOPE, Alabama (WALA) — From playing on the field to now coaching on the sidelines, a former NFL quarterback is stepping into his next career move on the Eastern Shore.

He was known as quarterback for the San Diego Chargers for most of his career. Now, he’s now known as coach.

Philip Rivers retired from the NFL earlier this year after finishing up his 17th season, most recently with the Indianapolis Colts. Now, he’s almost 4 months into coaching high school ball at St. Michael Catholic.

The transition has been a little out of the ordinary for him.

“I felt like a rookie today when I walked in the main school building asking where to go,” Rivers said.

Coaching high school football has been a lifelong dream of his, following in his dad’s footsteps. He wants to be a coach everyone can count on and respect.

“What I look for early on is how do the kids respond to the coaches?” he said. “How do they interact? You can see in about 5 minutes what it’s like. We have a very good dynamic. There’s a level of respect there, but we still want to have fun.”

His players agree; it’s about building trust.

“It’s been great,” said senior player Britton Cooper. “I feel like there’s a completely different atmosphere at the school. All the coaches are fiery. They love what they’re doing. I think everyone loves to play hard. We got a good group of seniors. I think we are going to be competitive this year.”

Rivers has been intentional with the boys, getting to know their strengths and weaknesses. They are not only teammates but family.

“On Wednesday nights, we get together after practice. We eat, and we have some fellowship. Everything is really coming together,” said another senior player, Luke Edmiston.

When the season kicks off in just a few short weeks, Rivers will be the first to say he is ready.

“It’s always been fun,” said Rivers. “We are all excited as August approaches.”

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