For three years Ray Rice has been helping to coach football players at his old high school New Rochelle but he finally has the time to take on a more consistent role on their coaching staff.
“Everything is the same,” said coach Lou DiRienzo, Rice’s varsity football coach. “Ray’s been volunteering and mentoring these kids and training these kids and coaching these kids and on the sidelines on Saturdays. He’s been a volunteer for the last three years. He just happens to have more time in his schedule now.”
Rice officially started his new role as the school’s running backs coach when they started their spring workouts on Thursday. He is also there to assist the secondary, which was another position he played while on the Huguenots.
Playing for Rutgers, rushing for 4,926 yards and 49 touchdowns in only three seasons. He was a second round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 as well as an All-Pro running back, helping the team to win the 2013 Super Bowl.
His career hit the skids in 2014 after the infamous elevator video came out where Rice could be seen viciously attacking his then-fiancée who he later married. Later that year his contract was terminated. While he has been reinstated in the league, there doesn’t appear to be any teams interested in having him.
“Ray has been around so much that there’s more buzz when visiting teams see him and when visiting parents see him or when we’re out in public,” DiRienzo said. “These kids are around him all the time. He’s Ray to them. A celebrity is not in their midst.”
Rice will not get paid for his work with the team but he does plan on devoting more time to the players.
“They can relate to him,” DiRienzo stated. “He’s from where they’re from. He’s who they are and so on. And he’s been to the highest level of football. Who better to motivate a kid than Ray? It’s a pleasure for me to have him.”