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.