Packers told coach Joe Philbin’s son is dead
MILWAUKEE — Oshkosh, Wis., police yesterday confirmed they had positively identified the body of a man believed to be the 21-year-old son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.
Oshkosh police spokesman Joseph Nichols said the identity of the person, whose body was pulled from the Fox River near the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus, was not being released pending official notification and wishes of the family.
Members of the Packers, however, were told that the body was that of Michael Philbin. In addition, some players sent condolences out on Twitter.
Police said foul play was not suspected, but that the case was still under investigation.
Michael Philbin was reported missing Sunday night. He had been last heard from about 2 a.m. Sunday while visiting friends in Oshkosh. Yesterday morning, Winnebago County dive and rescue teams were deployed to the Fox River.
The news of Michael Philbin’s death stunned his family as well as the Packers organization. Coach Mike McCarthy, speaking to reporters at Lambeau Field before authorities recovered the body, said the Philbin family “is obviously going through a tough time right now.” McCarthy was composed but measured in his responses to questions about Philbin’s son.
There was a pause at the start of the news conference before a reporter asked McCarthy how much his heart went out to his friend and associate in such a difficult time.
“As we always have, we a family-first philosophy in our organization, with our program,” McCarthy said. “We’re supporting Joe and his family the best we can and we’re holding out hope that this comes to a positive conclusion.”
McCarthy said there were contingency plans if Philbin was not able to be around the team as it prepares for its playoff matchup Sunday against the Giants. Philbin plays a large role in crafting the offensive game plan each week and helping McCarthy get ready to call plays on Sunday.
Not knowing what the outcome might be, McCarthy said, “Yes, we’re prepared to do whatever we need to do as a staff to make sure our football team is ready to go.” Earlier in the day, general manager Ted Thompson issued a statement on behalf of the team.
“The Packers organization is aware of the missing person report regarding Michael Philbin, son of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Philbin family during this difficult time.”
After McCarthy’s news conference, the Packers’ locker room was closed to the media.