The Green Bay Packers Friday named Joe Philbin tight ends coach/assistant offensive line, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced.
Philbin, 42, spent the 2003 season as assistant offensive line coach. He helped Larry Beightol field the NFL's top unit, based on combined league rankings in rushing yards per game and sacks allowed per pass play. The line produced two Pro Bowlers - G Marco Rivera and C Mike Flanagan - for the first time since 1967, Vince Lombardi's last year on the Packers sidelines. And, Green Bay allowed just 19 sacks, a franchise-record for a 16-game season.
"Joe has been a valuable addition to our staff and has a solid grasp of our offensive schemes," Sherman said.
Over the last few weeks, several NFL teams had asked the Packers for permission to interview Philbin, but he opted to stay in Green Bay.
"In turning down good opportunities presented to him to leave the Packers, he has demonstrated his loyalty and commitment to our organization and team," Sherman said.
The move is part of Sherman's overall vision for his offense. Philbin will continue to work with the offensive linemen and, with Beightol and newly hired James Campen, will give the Packers three coaches with offensive line responsibilities.
"Joe will still assist Larry Beightol with the offensive line in some capacity," Sherman said, "as the tight end is integrated into many of our run-blocking and pass-blocking schemes. By working with the tight ends in both the run and pass game, this experience will broaden his perspective and contribution to the offense."
A tight end during his playing days at Washington & Jefferson College, Philbin is only the fifth tight ends coach in team history. The list includes the Eagles' Any Reid (1992-96) and Sherman (1997-98), two of the NFL's four winningest head coaches since 2000. Other tight ends coaches were Virgil Knight (1988-91) and Jeff Jagodzinski (1999-2003).
Before joining the Packers, Philbin was offensive line coach at the University of Iowa (1999-2002), where he molded one of college football's finest units. In 2002, the Hawkeyes finished second in the Big Ten in rushing (214.2 yards per game). And, NFL teams selected three of his players - guards Eric Steinbach (second round, Cincinnati) and Ben Sobieski (fifth round, Buffalo), and center Bruce Nelson (second round, Carolina) - in the 2003 draft. Several analysts have projected another of his Iowa pupils, Robert Gallery, to go in the first five overall picks of the 2004 draft. Prior to coaching at Iowa, Philbin was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Harvard (1997-98), where his '97 offense established 15 records. Five members of his offensive squad earned All-Ivy League honors, including lineman Matt Birk, later a Vikings Pro Bowler.
All told, Philbin has coached 19 years in the college ranks, eight as an offensive coordinator. He also spent time on staffs at Tulane (1984-85), Worcester Tech (1986-87), the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1988-89), Allegheny College (1990-93), Ohio (1994) and Northeastern (1995-96), before taking over the Harvard offense.
He earned his B.A. in sociology from Washington & Jefferson ('84) and his master's of education in administration and supervision from Tulane ('86).
Philbin and his wife, Diane, live in Green Bay with their six children: sons Matthew, Michael, John, Kevin and Timothy, and daughter Colleen.