Although he’s celebrated for 17 years of uttering “dadgummit” and trash-talking in the NFL, former quarterback Philip Rivers spoke ecstatically after earning his first win as a high school coach.

Rivers retired from the league last season, and moved to Fairhope, Ala., to begin his coaching journey at St. Michael Catholic High School. The former Chargers and Colts quarterback recently guided the Cardinals to a 49-0 opening victory over McIntosh in his debut.

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Scoring 27 points in the first quarter, St. Michael Catholic completely dominated. By the start of the second half, both teams agreed to cut the half into two six-minute quarters with a running clock. Once time ran out and the team rejoiced in celebration, Rivers dwelled in nostalgia and the emotion behind this accomplishment.

Rivers wasn’t alone in celebrating under the lights. His dad, a former Athens and Decatur High coach, and mom were in the stands. His younger brother, Stephen, coaches the receivers. His two sons, too young to play on the varsity, were on the sidelines spotting the ball. 

“Tonight was s

pecial,” Rivers told local reporters after the game. “I’m looking over and Dad is standing on the track. Mom is in the stands. My boys are spotting the ball. My brother is here coaching. I have nephews and daughters and nieces running around. It was that kind of night, just thinking, ‘Wow, what has happened in 25 years.’ Then it was really all about the boys. I told them I was excited to watch them play, and I really was. They had a different approach than they did last week because they knew it would count.”