New Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said one of his sons helped convince him to pursue his first head coaching position.
The opportunity first came to pass when Philbin interviewed after the end of the regular season. Then his 21-year-old son died, with the funeral held two days before Green Bay’s loss to the Giants in the Divisional Playoffs on Jan. 15. Philbin, the Packers’ offensive coordinator, had returned to the team on game day and was in the press box.
“I was dejected. I came home Sunday night (after the game) and really the TV hasn’t been on in our house for a week. The Miami Dolphins maybe have hired a coach, I had no idea,” Philbin said. “And I walked down and I was talking to my son, Tim, and I saw he was kind of dejected and he asked me, ‘Dad what are the Miami Dolphins doing?’ And I said I have no idea what they’re doing. You’re going to go after the job are you? I said I don’t know what I’m going to do.
“I was dejected on a lot of different fronts. He looked at me and said, ‘You better go after that job. Your son, Mike, would want you to go after that job.’ And so that was kind of the start of me kind of getting back, get moving again.”
Miami indeed remained interested, with Philbin being asked back for a second interview along with interim coach Todd Bowles and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
“I think he really impressed me just listening to him, his organization, his plan, how he would execute it and make us a winner as fast as possible,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. “I really believe that people that work in great winning organizations learn how to win and that’s what it’s all about. That’s the primary reason and who he is as a person and what he’ll do for this organization the reasons why Joe Philbin is the coach of the Miami Dolphins.”