Ray Rice is starting from the bottom rung of the coaching ladder.
Three years after his attack on then-fiancée, Janay, essentially ended his career as a player, the infamous NFL outcast has begun coaching running backs at New Rochelle High School, where he starred on the football team as a teenager. Rice joined the staff on an official basis after three years of volunteering, News 12 reported Thursday.
Rice’s new gig comes two months after his hometown honored him by inducting him into the New Rochelle Walk of Fame in May along with several NFL retirees. The six-year Ravens running back and former Super Bowl champion reportedly received a warm welcome when he got up to the podium on the day of his induction.
“I thank you all for judging the man I’m becoming and not the football player I was,” Rice said in his speech in front of Janay (now his wife), the town’s mayor and childhood teachers and friends.
Rice, who has two children with Janay, has sought to change his public image since the infamous incident in 2014, in which he punched Janay unconscious in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel. The three-time Pro Bowler was arrested and indicted on one count of aggravated assault and, once the video went viral, suspended for the first two games of the NFL season — a punishment Roger Goodell later said he regretted after receiving harsh public backlash. The charges against Rice eventually were dropped after he agreed to participate in court-supervised counseling.
Rice, 30, has made clear his plans to return to the NFL since Baltimore released him in September 2014, but he has received zero interest from teams.
In the meantime, Rice has continued his quest toward rehabilitation, traveling the country to share his story with college students. Rice has said he will donate 100 percent of his salary to domestic violence charities if he ever signs with a team because he knows “my situation has raised awareness.”