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Philbin's son found dead in Fox River

Jan 09, 2012 -- 7:06pm


Oshkosh Police confirmed late Monday afternoon that they had positively identified the body of a man thought to be the 21-year-old son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin after it was recovered from the Fox River near the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus.

Police did not officially release the identity of the man, citing the wishes of the family, saying only that the body was that of a white male in his early 20s. But Packers players and staff members confirmed that they had been told that the body was that of Michael Philbin, shortly after Winnebago County search and rescue divers pulled the body from the water around 3 p.m.

Michael Philbin, who lived in Ripon, was in Oshkosh visiting friends during the weekend and had been missing since 2 a.m. Sunday.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy addressed the issue during a scheduled press conference Monday.

"The Philbin family is obviously going through a tough time right now, and as we always have, you know, we're family-first philosophy with our organization with our program," McCarthy said in a somber tone.

In the wake of the events, Packers players were not made available to media. Some players -- including New York Giants star Justin Tuck -- used their Twitter accounts to express condolences to the Philbin family. The Packers are to play the Giants in a divisional playoff game at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

"As children we all have to someday say goodbye to our parents, but a parent should never have to say goodbye to their child," said offensive lineman T.J. Lang, whose father, Thomas, died last week and was buried Monday.

Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji wrote that "life is too short."

"Live in the present," Raji tweeted.

Michael Philbin was the second-oldest of six children to Joe Philbin and his wife, Diane. Joe Philbin has been with the Packers since 2003, and has been the team's offensive coordinator since 2007. He recently was interviewed for head coaching jobs in Kansas City and Miami.
McCarthy said the team has contingency plans in place if Philbin is unavailable to coach the game Sunday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Philbin family during this difficult time," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement.

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