Joe Judge, who has been a part of five championship teams as an NFL and collegiate coach, today became the fifth candidate to interview for the Giants’ head coaching position.
Judge, who turned 38 last week, has been coaching for 15 years, including the last eight with the New England Patriots. He was the team’s assistant special teams coach for three years and special teams coordinator for four. When Chad O’Shea left the Patriots following the 2018 season to become the Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator, Judge became the Patriots wide receivers coach.
The Patriots’ season ended Saturday night with a home loss to the Tennessee Titans in an AFC Wild Card Game.
Judge was on the Patriots’ staff when they won Super Bowls in 2014, 2016 and 2018 and coached at the University of Alabama when the Crimson Tide captured BCS titles in 2009 and 2011.
He met with Giants president John Mara, general manager Dave Gettleman, vice president of football operations Kevin Abrams and other staff at the team’s headquarters, the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
The Giants interviewed four candidates last week: Dallas Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator and secondary coach Kris Richard, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale and Mike McCarthy, the former Green Bay Packers coach.
Pat Shurmur was dismissed as Giants head coach on Monday.
Under Judge’s leadership in 2019, the Patriots finished ninth in the NFL in three significant special teams categories – punt return (8.0-yard average) and punt (6.3) and kickoff coverage (20.9). They were 17th in kickoff returns with an average of 22.1 yards on 26 runbacks.
In part because of injuries, New England this season used four kickers, who combined to make 27 of 34 field goal attempts and 39 of 45 extra point tries.
Judge also had to maneuver through injuries and roster turnover at wide receiver. But Julian Edelman, the Super Bowl LIII MVP, caught 100 passes and led the team with six touchdown receptions.
Judge began his coaching career at his alma mater, Mississippi State, where he was a graduate assistant from 2005-07. He served as the special teams/linebackers coach at Birmingham-Southern in 2008. The following year, he began a three-year stint as a special teams assistant/football analyst at Alabama.
Judge joined the Patriots as assistant special teams coach in 2012 and was promoted to special teams coach following Scott O’Brien’s retirement in 2015.
Under Judge’s guidance in 2018, Patriots special teams played a key role in the team’s Super Bowl LIII victory against the Los Angeles Rams. New England’s punt team repeatedly pinned the Rams’ offense deep in their own territory throughout the game, forcing the Rams to start three of their drives inside their own 10-yard line. Special teams were also critical in a Week 7 victory at Chicago, scoring touchdowns on a kickoff return and a blocked punt.
Judge was born in Philadelphia, where his father, Joseph, played football at Temple and later with the Hamilton Tigercats of the CFL.