Sherman names assistant offensive line coach

Joe Philbin was named as assistant offensive line coach by the Green Bay Packers on Monday. The former University of Iowa offensive line coach replaces Pat Ruel, who became offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 21.<p>

Philbin, 41, coached at Iowa for the past four seasons. He has coached for 19 years but never in the National Football League. He will work with offensive line coach Larry Beightol, 61, who came to Green Bay in 2000 when head coach Mike Sherman was hired.

"I think the Packers are widely regarded as the premier franchise in the National Football League and I just consider it an honor to be a part of that great tradition," Philbin said. "I'm really looking forward to being a part of their staff and working with Coach Sherman and Coach (Larry) Beightol in particular.

"I couldn't be any more delighted."

Philbin is expected to join the coaching staff in Green Bay this Thursday.

Iowa's offensive line produced three first-team All-Big Ten linemen last year under Philbin – guard Eric Steinbach, tackle Robert Gallery and center Bruce Nelson. The Hawkeyes finished second in the Big Ten Conference in rushing at 214.2 yards per game.

Steinbach earned consensus All-America honors and likely will be a first-round pick in this April's NFL draft. Philbin's two other starters garnered postseason honors as well, tackle David Porter earning second-team All-Big Ten accolades and guard Andy Lightfoot earning first-team academic All-America honors.

In 2001, the Hawkeyes led the Big Ten in scoring (32.6 points per game), third-down conversion percentage (48.7) and red zone offense, scoring on 47 of 52 possessions (90.4 percent). Iowa also was second in the conference in passing efficiency that season.

Prior to coaching at Iowa, Philbin served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for two seasons at Harvard (1997-98). Under his direction in 1997 the Crimson established 15 offensive records, including marks for total offense (4,236 yards) and first downs (217). Five members of his offensive squad earned All-Ivy League honors, including lineman Matt Birk, later a draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings who earned Pro Bowl berths following the 2000, '01 and '02 seasons.

The Springfield, Mass., native was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Northeastern University from 1995-96, helping the Huskies during the latter campaign to their first winning season in a decade.

Philbin spent four seasons at Allegheny College (1990-93), serving as offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. During his tenure, the Gators earned postseason berths following the 1990, '91 and '93 seasons, highlighted by an NCAA Division III national championship in 1990. The 1990 and '91 squads celebrated undefeated regular seasons. Under Philbin's tutelage, Stan Drayton , now the Packers' quality control assistant/special teams-offense, was a three-time, first-team All-America selection (1990-92) at running back.

Philbin got his start in the coaching profession during a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at Tulane University (1984-85). Tenures followed at Worcester Tech (1986-87 - offensive line) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1988-89 - offensive line). He also served the 1994 season as offensive line coach at Ohio University.

"I certainly feel I have the capacity to learn the NFL game at a rapid pace," said Philbin. "I don't have a timetable of how long that's going to take. I'm just looking forward to contributing in whatever way I can."

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