Skip to main content

Son of Green Bay Packers' offense coach found dead in river

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:19 PM EST, Tue January 10, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "We love Michael so much and will miss him dearly," Joe Philbin says
  • Michael Philbin, 21, had been missing since early Sunday
  • No cause of death is known; an autopsy is set for Tuesday

(CNN) -- A body pulled from a Wisconsin river has been identified as the son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, police said Tuesday.

Michael Philbin, 21, went missing early Sunday while in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to visit friends, police said. No cause of death was immediately determined, and an autopsy was set for Tuesday, Oshkosh Police Chief Scott Greuel said at a news conference.

"We love Michael so much and will miss him dearly," Joe Philbin said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. "He loved his family, friends and life. His memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him."

Philbin thanked the agencies that assisted in the search for his son, and expressed gratitude for "the prayers and the support of our family, friends and the Packers family."

On behalf of the team, Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said everyone's thoughts and prayers were with the family.

"This is an emotional and difficult time for them, and we ask that everyone respect their privacy," he said. "All of us in the Packers family share in their grief."

The body was found Monday in the Fox River after Oshkosh police put out an alert asking citizens for help in locating Philbin, who lived about 20 miles away in Ripon. His last known communication was at 2 a.m. Sunday, police said.

"He talked to a friend. He didn't sound like he was under duress or he had any medical condition," police spokesman Joe Nichols told CNN affiliate WTMJ Monday. "The phone conversation ended, and that was the last time someone had voice contact."

Michael Philbin was the second-eldest of six children of Joe Philbin and his wife, Diane, according to the Packers' website. His funeral is set for Friday.

His father coached for 19 years at college football programs before coming to Green Bay in 2003 as an assistant offensive line coach. He became the team's offensive coordinator in 2007 and played a significant part in the Packers' league-best 15-1 regular season record this season.

CNN's Kara Devlin contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT