Former NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who recently retired after a decade in the league, has been named head coach at Miami Northwestern Senior High School, his alma mater.
Miami Northwestern athletic director Andre Williams confirmed the hire to ESPN. He added that Bridgewater, 31, who starred at the school before moving on to Louisville and the NFL, has been a steady presence around the program and hoped to coach there for some time. Bridgewater, a 2014 first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, played for seven NFL teams, most recently the Detroit Lions. He told the Detroit Free Press in December that he would retire after the season and planned to coach high school football.
“Teddy, he’s never left the school,” Williams said. “Since he’s been in the NFL the last 10 years and certainly in college, he was always at the school during the offseason, working out with the young men, giving them his knowledge of the game. He’s never left the school, so we’re just officially bringing him back as the head coach.”
Williams said Bridgewater first mentioned the possibility of coaching Miami Northwestern five to seven years ago. The school had a coaching vacancy after parting ways with Michaelee Harris following a 4-6 season last fall.
Welcome Our New Head Coach Teddy Bridgewater. 💙💛🤘🏾🐂 pic.twitter.com/V1FdW5QB3V
— Miami Northwestern_FB (@mnw_fb) February 2, 2024
Bridgewater is already at the school, meeting with the team’s returning players and other coaches, according to Williams. He had 6,712 passing yards and 70 touchdowns at Miami Northwestern before moving onto Louisville, where he earned Big East Rookie of the Year honors and won Sugar Bowl MVP after guiding the Cardinals past Florida as a junior.
Despite suffering a severe knee injury with the Vikings before the 2016 season and other injuries, Bridgewater started 65 games in his NFL career and finished with 15,120 passing yards, 75 touchdowns and 47 interceptions. He started most of the 2014 and 2015 seasons for Minnesota, as well as 2020 in Carolina and 2021 in Denver.
Williams said Miami Northwestern received strong interest for its coaching vacancy but zeroed in on Bridgewater, whom he thinks received interest from colleges about potential coaching jobs.
“I wasn’t concerned because he’s always expressed that he wanted to come back in coach at his alma mater, Northwestern, and he was always present,” Williams said. “He’s a very humble young man. He very seldom shows his emotions, but I’m sure he was extremely excited. He mentioned that he was trying to hold his composure in the announcement not too long ago.”
Williams, who also played quarterback at Miami Northwestern in the 1980s, bonded with Bridgewater over that connection and others. He thinks Bridgewater will mentor players well, both in football and in their other pursuits.
“It means a great deal,” Williams said. “He’s a proud member of this community. He knows the environment, he knows the school, he knows the tradition, he knows about all those guys that came before. I was surprised that when I first met him, he knew I was quarterback at Northwestern in the ’80s.
“So he understands the importance of it, but more importantly, he understands it’s not just about wins and losses for me and for the school and for the community.”