Philip Rivers has never been to a Super Bowl or won an MVP award, but the San Diego Chargers quarterback leads NFL signal-callers in two categories: He has the biggest family and the longest-running relationship with his wife, Tiffany, whom he began dating when the two were middle school sweethearts in Alabama.
Here’s what you need to know about Tiffany and her relationship with Phillip.
1. Tiffany & Philip Have Been Together Since 7th Grade
Philip and Tiffany both grew up in Decatur, Alabama, and the two were in seventh grade when they began dating.
According to waitingtillmarriage.org, Philip pointed toward Tiffany at one point and told his mom, Joan, “that’s a good girl.”
The two continued dating even when Philip and his family moved to Athens, where Philip starred on the Athens High football team coached by his dad, Steve.
2. Tiffany & Philip Got Married After Their Freshmen Years in College
Philip Rivers stood out for all sorts of reasons at N.C. State, where he shattered the school and ACC records for career passing yards and emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the country heading into the 2004 NFL draft.
Among the many other things that made him different from almost all of his peers: By the time he began his sophomore season, he was married, and by the time he began his junior season, in 2002, Tiffany had given birth to the couple’s first child, a girl named Halle.
Philip and Tiffany were married on May 19, 2001, just after the two finished their respective first years in college. Halle was born on July 6, 2002, about a month before Philip began training camp for his sophomore season in Raleigh.
3. Tiffany Converted to Catholicism Before She Married Philip
One of the hallmarks of Philip’s life is his devout Catholic faith, so prior to marrying Philip, Tiffany converted to Catholicism, receiving her first communion the day before she married Philip, according to a feature in Celebrate Life magazine.
Tiffany has embraced her Catholic faith — especially the practice of natural family planning, which she and Philip have both described as one of the cornerstones of their marriage.
Tiffany talked about her faith and her embrace of NFP in a 2012 interview with the Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning.
Being a convert, I just jumped fully in. I thought “this is so awesome that the Church has everything laid out for us. There’s no guessing game.” I just love the fact that the Magisterium of the Church has these beautiful truths that they’ve safeguarded all throughout the years.
We learned about natural family planning mainly from Philip’s mom when we were preparing to get married. She told us, “this is what the Church teaches.” I was 18 at the time, he was 19. I thought, “Oh, this is beautiful. It was never a discussion of are we going to do it. My thinking was “Well I’m Catholic now and this is what the Church teaches, so we’re doing it.” And we practiced it from the very beginning of our marriage.
4. Tiffany & Philip Waited Until They Were Married to Have Sex
In keeping with the Church’s teachings, Philip and Tiffany waited until after they got married to have sex. You can hear Philip talk about the couple’s commitment to “remaining pure” in the video about from the Chastity Project.
People are always saying “why’d you get married so young?” Well, some people wait for all the right reasons. But, you know, some people wait because “what’s getting married these days? Well, what’s getting married? She’s just finally going to live with me.” You know, but they already have everything else that you have when you’re married, and that was something that was important to us. As were were both remaining pure it was hard as ever.
Certainly, it wasn’t “oh let’s get married so that’s taken care of,” but certainly that had a lot to do with it. It’s amazing the gift you’re able to give each other when you do get married and you’ve been in this pure state and in the battle together. It’s a battle. It’s not “oh this is easy, let’s be this way, we’re good.” It’s hard every day. But when you get there you’re relieved. And what I’ve founded out is it doesn’t end when you get married. Chastity is still part of your marriage. We practice natural family planning and it can be hard as ever sometimes. But it makes us stronger and we love each other more and it allows you to love in many different ways.
5. Tiffany & Philip Have 7 Kids
In October 2013, Tiffany gave birth to the couple’s fifth daughter and seventh child overall.
As the San Diego Union-Tribune reported at the time, Philip was prepared to miss the baby’s birth so he could play in the Chargers’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Tiffany ended up not giving birth until San Diego’s bye week, allowing Philip to be there to welcome the family’s newest addition.
From the U-T:
A quick aside: As Tiffany Rivers was preparing to give birth last week, Philip Rivers was preparing to give the Jacksonville Jaguars something else to talk about.
Asked what would happen if their baby was born while he was playing so far from home, Rivers told 10News “FaceTime, I reckon.”
In 2010, Tiffany and Philip started the Rivers of Hope Foundation, which aimed to help foster children find permanent families. The couple closed the foundation in March 2013 because they wanted to take what Philip called a “behind the scenes” approach to helping children.
Rivers told NBC San Diego in a statement:
Tiffany and I have seen great things happen in the last four years with the public foundation and now we want to continue to expand our personal efforts for these purposes. It takes us out of the public eye and puts the kids center-stage.