INDIANAPOLIS - For the past 17 years, Philip Rivers has lived one of his life's dreams.
Now it's time to fulfill another one — coaching high school football, just like his father.
Rivers, who just wrapped up his first season as the Indianapolis Colts' quarterback after spending the first 16 years of his illustrious career with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, announced his retirement from the NFL today.
"It's just time," Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee. "It's just right."
Rivers also released this statement on Wednesday morning.
"Every year, January 20th is a special and emotional day. It is St. Sebastian's Feast day, the day I played in the AFC championship without an ACL, and now the day that after 17 seasons, I'm announcing my retirement from the National Football League. Thank you God for allowing me to live out my childhood dream of playing quarterback in the NFL.
I am grateful to the Chargers for 16 seasons, and the Colts for the 17th season.
Thank you to all my coaches that helped me grow as a player and person.
Thanks to the support staff.
I appreciate the opposing defenses making it challenging physically and mentally every week... I also enjoyed the banter.
I appreciate the referees for putting up with all my fussing. I think I was right most of the time dadgummit!
Thanks to the fans in San Diego and around the nation that both cheered and booed.
Special thanks to my teammates. Without a doubt my favorite part of the game, being a teammate. Thank you for being mine.
Lastly, thank you to my wife and best friend Tiffany, and our children Halle, Caroline, Grace, Gunner , Sarah, Peter, Rebecca, Clare, and Anna. Could not have done it without y'all's unwavering support.
As my playing career comes to an end , the next chapter begins.
Rivers, 39, had a standout collegiate career at N.C. State, where he started 51 straight games from 2000 through 2003 and broke several school and ACC records, completed 1,087-of-1,710 pass attempts (63.6 percent) for 13,484 yards with 95 touchdowns to 34 interceptions, while also collecting 17 rushing touchdowns on the ground.
Rivers was then a major part of the famous 2004 NFL Draft, in which the San Diego Chargers selected Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning with the first-overall pick, while the New York Giants selected Rivers at No. 4 overall. But Manning had said he would refuse to play for the Chargers, so San Diego and New York swapped their first-round signal callers.
Rivers would go on to become the most prolific passer in Chargers history. In his 16 seasons with the team, he completed 4,908-of-7,591 passes (64.7 percent) for 59,271 yards and 397 touchdowns — all franchise records. He was also selected to eight Pro Bowls.
A Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist in 2011, Rivers concluded his Chargers tenure with more than 30 total franchise records to his name, including completion percentage (64.7), passing touchdown percentage (5.2), interception percentage (2.6), yards per passing attempt (7.8) and quarterback rating (95.1).
Following his retirement announcement after 17 season in the NFL, look back at some of the best images from Philip Rivers' time with the Indianapolis Colts.
Rivers then signed with the Colts as a free agent last offseason, reuniting him with head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni; the three worked together for three seasons with the Chargers from 2013-15 when Reich was quarterbacks coach, and then offensive coordinator, while Sirianni was an offensive quality control coach before being promoted to quarterbacks coach.
Rivers' final season in the NFL, and his only year in Indianapolis, was an undeniable success. He completed 369-of-543 pass attempts (68 percent) for 4,169 yards with 24 touchdowns to 11 interceptions for a passer rating of 97.0, and, most importantly, led the team to an 11-5 record and a playoff appearance.
Rivers' final NFL game would be the Colts' Wild Card Round loss to the AFC's No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills, in which the veteran quarterback completed 27-of-46 passes for 309 yards with two touchdowns to zero picks.
Rivers finishes his illustrious NFL career ranking in the top-10 in several key categories, including passing attempts (sixth), completions (fifth), passing yards (fifth), passing touchdowns (fifth), passer rating (min. 2,000 attempts – 10th), first down completions (fifth – 3,113) and completions of 25 yards or more (fifth – 482) and 300-yard passing games (fourth – 73). His 134 career regular season victories as a starter ranks eighth in league history.
With his retirement now official, Rivers gets to live out another of his life's dreams: coaching high school football. Last year, he was named the head coach-in-waiting at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Ala.
The Colts now head into the offseason with one quarterback, Jacob Eason, under contract for the 2021 season. Backup Jacoby Brissett is set to become a free agent when the new league year begins in March.
For more on this developing news, check back with Colts.com and follow @Colts on Twitter.