NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Ray Rice, shunned by the NFL after video surfaced of him hitting his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator, has joined the coaching staff at his high school alma mater.
Rice began serving as a volunteer assistant coach Thursday at New Rochelle High School, the Journal News reported. Head coach Lou DiRienzo said Rice, 30, will coach running backs and assist with defensive backs.
The former Baltimore Ravens star has always maintained a close relationship with the New Rochelle program, hosting football camps there, working out with players and spending most of last season around the Huguenots, including on game days.
“Ray has been around with us and mentoring kids and taking kids under his wing for us,” DiRienzo told the Journal News. “Now that he has more time, he’s taking more of an active role.”
DiRienzo said Rice will coach the team as often as his schedule permits, noting that the three-time Pro Bowler has several speaking engagements scheduled. Rice often talks to professional, college and high school teams and youth organizations.
Rice, who won a Super Bowl with the Ravens after the 2012 season, has been out of football since the video surfaced showing him striking Janay Palmer, now his wife, in 2014. The New Rochelle native and former Rutgers star was released by the Ravens and suspended by the NFL.
Rice has since become an advocate against domestic violence, saying he hopes his story helps raise awareness about the “epidemic.” Last month, he was inducted into New Rochelle’s Walk of Fame at Ruby Dee Park.
“I thank you all for judging the man I’m becoming and not the football player I was,” Rice said during the induction ceremony.
Rice played for New Rochelle and DiRienzo from 2001-04, helping the Huguenots win a state championship during his junior year.