Back in December, Detroit Lions quarterback Teddy Bridgewater told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press he planned to retire after the season. He has not yet filed official retirement papers, as probably expected still less than a week since the Lions' season ended. But according to multiple reports on Friday morning, he has been hired as the head coach at Miami Northwestern, his high school alma mater.
Back in December, Bridgewater told Birkett he intended to coach at the high school level next season. with the head job at his alma mater open.
"I’m going to go coach high school football next year and I’ll probably come to their (Lions) practice and mess with Hendon (Hooker)," Bridgewater said.
Expanding on the "mess with Hendon (Hooker)" thing, Hooker told reporters this week that he will spend part of his offseason living and working with Bridgewater in Miami.
After up-and-down NFL career, Teddy Bridgewater to keep paying it forward
Bridgewater was a first-round pick (32nd overall) by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Vikings won the NFC North in his second season, his first full season as the starter. Then late in the 2016 preseason, his career was set off-course by a severe knee injury. If not for the fast actions of the Vikings' training staff, that injury may have had life-altering consequences. He basically missed all of the next two seasons.
That he managed to last 10 NFL seasons, albeit becoming well-traveled, is a testament to Bridgewater's perseverance. He undeniably had a successful career, and his time with the New Orleans Saints (5-0 as the starter in place of an injured Drew Brees in 2019) clearly made a lasting mark on then Saints' assistant coach Dan Campbell and informed the Lions' decision to sign him.
Now, as he made clear he wants to do since arriving with the Lions, Bridgewater will take another step to "pay it forward" back in his hometown at his high school alma mater, coaching young football players and influencing the men they will become.