Son of Packers offensive coordinator drowns in Fox River

| January 10, 2012
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OSHKOSH, Wis. — The body of the 21-year-old son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was found Monday in the Fox River near Oshkosh.

Winnebago County Dive/Rescue searches the Fox River

The Winnebago County Dive/Rescue/Recovery Team pulled the body of a 20- to 25-year-old man from the river at 3 p.m. Monday. Authorities declined to identify the person, but a source confirmed the body is that of Philbin’s son, Michael.

Philbin, 21, a Ripon College student, was visiting friends, police said.

Police do not suspect foul play, said Joe Nichols, crime prevention officer for the Oshkosh Police Department.

Divers began the search Sunday after a man called authorities around 2:30 a.m. Sunday to report he thought he heard someone fall in the ice and call for help. Packers players and staff were informed Monday.

Michael Philbin’s disappearance comes as the Packers prepare to face the New York Giants in an NFC playoff game Sunday in Green Bay.

Philbin was in Oshkosh, Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said, and the team has plans for dealing with Philbin’s absence, if necessary.

According to several Green Bay area news organizations McCarthy addressed the situation on Monday saying

Green Bay Packer's offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin

“The Philbin family is obviously going through a tough time right now and as we always have, we [have] a family-first philosophy in our organization, with our program,” McCarthy said early Monday. He addressed the media before the death of Michael Philbin was confirmed. “We’re supporting Joe and his family the best we can, and we’re holding out hope that this comes to a positive conclusion.”

Clearly, that will not be the case and the Packers, in addition to grieving, must prepare to play a game. McCarthy calls his own plays and is deeply involved in the offensive game-planning, but Joe Philbin, who was in Oshkosh on Monday, obviously plays a key role. McCarthy indicated there were contingency plans if Philbin were unavailable. “We’re prepared to do whatever we need to do as a staff to make sure our football team is ready to go,” McCarthy said.

According to several national media outlets, Joe Philbin interviewed for the head coaching jobs last week in Kansas City and Miami; the Chiefs announced the hiring of Romeo Crennel on Monday.

Michael Philbin was the second of Joe and Diane Philbin’s six children.

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