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Meet The Coach: Joe Philbin

Intro: Over the next few weeks, will publish Q & A’s with all of the team’s assistant coaches. Here, we will get to know new Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Joe Philbin


INDIANAPOLIS – When Jim Irsay sits down with a new coaching hire, you know it's an important addition.

That's what the Colts Owner & CEO did with the Colts bringing on Joe Philbin to coach the offensive line.

Philbin returns to the Midwest, where he has had some great success coaching in the trenches.

Get to know new Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Joe Philbin:

Describe your journey to Indianapolis

"I spent 19 years in college coaching at just about every level. From Harvard to Ohio University to Allegheny College, and a little of everywhere in between. University of Iowa, obviously in the Big Ten. It was a great experience. Loved every minute of it. I really enjoyed what I was doing. Loved the University of Iowa. That was my last college job. I had never really been to the Midwest. Lived there for four years. Wasn't really looking to go anywhere because we had just had a great year, I think we were 11-1. But there was an opportunity in Green Bay. It wasn't for a ton of money. It was really a lateral move financially. I didn't really have a burning desire to make any kind of move at that point in time. I had six young children. I think the oldest was 14 at the time and I had a two year old. We had really settled into Iowa City and really loved it. I figured if I was going to make a move to pro football that would be the town that kind of fit me. So we went to Green Bay. I have a lot of respect for Mike Sherman. I've known him for a long time. I believed in him and trusted him. Then after three years Coach Sherman got fired and I was pretty confident that I was going to be searching for a job. I had enjoyed pro football. I enjoyed Green Bay but certainly needed a job. Fortunately, I was able to stay. I was surprised I was able to stay. I wasn't really expecting that. I was able to be on Coach (Mike) McCarthy's staff. Things happened to fall into place and I became coordinator there soon after he got there. We won our share of games and I really enjoyed Green Bay. The people were really, really good to me. I had enjoyed the players. We had some really good players. It was a really good experience. Then, again, I had coached for 28 years and I had never been a head coach. If I had stopped coaching, I wouldn't have thought my career hadn't been fulfilling. It had been. I had an opportunity to interview for some head coaching jobs. At the time, I think I was 50 years old and got offered the job. The Dolphins were a great franchise and organization. I was privileged to become a head coach. I wish I could have done a better job certainly. But value the time that I spent there, the people that I met. For everybody's sake, I wish we had won more games. The record is what it is and I certainly own that. But I don't regret going. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people. We had some great wins when I was there and we had some tough losses. We had four more losses than we had wins and that's what happens sometimes. A very good experience. I've been lucky to work with some great people, at all levels. One of the kids that played for me in Division III was driving through Indianapolis on business and we visited. They are as important to me as Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, anybody else. It's really been about the relationships and who you are working with, not what level you are at and what your salary is. The older you get, you appreciate that more and more."Most memorable moment in football

"It's really the people that I've met. I was lucky we won a National Championship at Allegheny College in Division III. It was a great accomplishment. Not as many people care about it, but I think there are 260 Division III teams. We won four games in the playoffs and that was a great, great accomplishment. At Iowa, the first year I was there we didn't win a game in the Big Ten and the last year we went 8-0 in the Big Ten. Most of the memories are really affiliated with the people than a specific outcome of a game. Obviously the Super Bowl win (in Green Bay), I have a picture of all my children and my wife on the field. That's certainly meaningful. I think it's been a culmination and not really one moment. I wouldn't say that the Super Bowl is the defining moment of my career or the National Championship at Allegheny. I think it's been a more process, journey oriented person. I would say it's been more that than anything else."When did you know you wanted to be a coach?

"I don't know. My dad was a great Little League baseball coach in our town. My mom was a teacher by trade and then we had five other siblings so she wasn't a teacher. She was a homemaker after that. I knew I wasn't going to be a businessman. That just wasn't me. I wasn't going to be a doctor. My grades weren't good enough. I just kind of fell into coaching. I was exposed to some really great coaches. I went to Worcester Academy one year, a prep school in Massachusetts. Kirk Ferentz was one of my teachers, the head coach at Iowa. Mike Sherman was one of my teachers, the head coach of the Packers. Then Ken O'Keefe, who was the head coach at Allegheny when we won the National Championship and was with me in Miami was one of my coaches. We had some really great role models. I kind of looked up to them and admired them. I started and thought I would give it a shot. I can't say I thought it was going to necessarily be forever. But it kind of grew on me. I enjoyed the game, the camaraderie of the game, the relationships that you get to build. You get to be around a lot of great people, people that are committed, unselfish and want to win. It's fun to be a part of that."Favorite part about coaching

"I would say the relationships. I enjoy the teaching aspect in the room and on the field. I enjoy the Sunday's. As I say to the players all the time, the validation for me as a coach is the film. It's not what I can tell them in the meeting room or what I think I know or how smart I profess to be, it's how well they play. We are all kind of tied together. Seeing guys develop and grow and hopefully be a little better person---I think you can still do that in pro football. Some guys need it more than others. You get guys at different stages of development."Describe your coaching style

"I think I'm a teacher. I believe in that. I believe in good, old, honest hard work and being prepared, both myself and the players. I feel like football, the speed of the game just gets faster every single year with the athletes and the complexities of the schemes, etc. I would say the other thing about my style is it's kind of fast paced. I try to coach fast both in the classroom and on the field because I think ultimately that's how they have to play. They don't have a lot of time to decide and to hesitate out on the football team. Try to get guys involved and engage them. Try to keep it simple as best I can."Who was your biggest influence growing up?

"Definitely my mother and father. My dad grew up in the Great Depression and fought in World War II. His mother was an immigrant from Ireland. Both my mother's parents were from Ireland. My dad never went to formal college. My mom went to Worcester State Teacher's College for $70.00 a semester. She took the bus and it was five cents. Certainly they were the greatest role models and examples I ever had. My siblings have been very, very supportive. I was just lucky to be around a lot of really quality people."Favorite hobby

"I like the Atlantic Ocean. I grew up in Massachusetts and spent some time in Rhode Island, Cape Cod in the summer. I really like the Atlantic Ocean a lot. I'm not a golfer, fisherman or hunter. It's really been just about visiting with family. I come from a big family. My wife comes from a big family. We had six children. So it's really been oriented around that."Favorite food

"I can eat anything. I love to eat. I'm not very picky at all. I like Italian. Now, I'm full-blooded Irish but I think I could maybe change for citizenship. I love food and love to eat. I've been bopping around Indy and the food is really good here."Favorite movie

"It's a Wonderful Life."Favorite music/genre

"Probably the 70s. Creedence Clearwater, Jim Morrison, Bob Seger, The Eagles. Some rock and roll."Favorite place you've traveled

"Probably Italy."Why Indianapolis?

"It was really the people. Having not coached for three months, you kind of get a chance to reassess what the future holds and what you might what to do. I still love the game, love coming to work, love putting together a game plan and seeing it come to fruition on Sunday's. It seems like a great group of men we have working here. I just felt fortunate. Before I came for my interview I told my wife that my instincts are I'm going to probably like it when I go there. I'm not a complicated person. It's not like I need the Taj Mahal to go to work in. I want to be around, at this stage of my career, good people, people who are committed to doing things the right way, with class, hard workers, unselfish people. That was really it. It just felt like a good place for me."Favorite Spot/Part about Indy/Colts

"We are going to live in the Meridian/Kessler area. We are really excited about that. I think it's close to a lot of things, downtown and Broad Ripple. You can walk to places and that's kind of different for us. We've always had the family and the kids. We still have one at home, which we are delighted to still have one at home. It's going to be a little different style of living for us, which I think we are both, my wife and I, are excited about. It's kind of a historic area/neighborhood which I think is really neat. We are just really looking forward to becoming involved in the community and hopefully contributing in a meaningful way, both with the Colts and in the community."What do you want to see you out of your offensive line group?

"Fundamentally sound, No. 1: Really good play speed. No. 2: Great effort. No. 3: Guys who do things the right way."Family

Wife: Diane. Sons: Matthew, Michael (deceased), John, Kevin, Tim. Daughter: Colleen.

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