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Death of Joe Philbin’s son ruled accidental drowning


Michael Philbin, the son of Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, drowned accidentally when he fell into a Wisconsin river on January 8, police said in wrapping up their investigation.

The 21-year-old Philbin was drunk, with a blood-alcohol level of 0.176 percent, and also had marijuana in his system. Joe Philbin and his family released a statement on Wednesday urging people to avoid illegal drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.

“The loss of a child and sibling is absolutely heartbreaking to a family,” the statement said. “Ours is no different. We hope that the results of the recent toxicology report serves as a reminder to us all that the mixture of alcohol and marijuana can be extremely dangerous, potentially even fatal. . . . Michael was alone when this incident occurred. For us as a family this has been the most difficult thing to deal with. Had he been with someone this would have been avoided. The message is clear: Practice moderation in the consumption of alcohol, avoid illegal drugs, and if someone appears to be in need of assistance, help them so that this situation doesn’t occur again.”

Michael Philbin was last heard from when he called a friend at 2:10 a.m. on January 8. At around that time someone called 911 reporting a person calling for help in the Fox River in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His body was found on the afternoon of January 9. At the time Joe Philbin was offensive coordinator of the Packers, preparing for Green Bay’s playoff game against the Giants. He was hired by the Dolphins shortly after.

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4 Responses to “Death of Joe Philbin’s son ruled accidental drowning”
  1. stevenfbrackett says: Mar 8, 2012 7:32 PM

    Sadly, this is not uncommon in WI where college binge drinking is a major epidemic and colleges in river/lake towns lose a kid or two year in this same manner and have volunteer river patrols pull back from the brink many, many more.

  2. rondo1260 says: Mar 9, 2012 12:14 AM

    I got that beat right now. No ice though.

  3. txbearmeat says: Mar 9, 2012 10:50 PM

    Very, very sad.

    That whole week was strange around GB. I feel bad for Joe and his whole family, as well as the Packers players who had to try to focus during that time of crisis. Obviously, it did affect them.

    RIP Micheal.

  4. theghostoflombardi says: Mar 12, 2012 2:23 PM

    This is such a sad, sad story. As a Packer fan from Oshkosh, this really hit home for me.

    I hope that the Philbin family can find peace in the face of such a horrible tragedy.

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