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Giants hire Joe Judge to be their next head coach - 3 things to know

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Find out about the Giants new head coach

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants stunned by hiring New England Patriots offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge almost immediately after news broke that they were spurned by Matt Rhule.

But who is Joe Judge? He was a surprise inclusion in the Giants' pool of coaching candidates and largely dismissed and overlooked by fans and the New York Media alike.

Here's three things to know about the Giants' new head coach.

1) He is a career special teams coach

Judge got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant Mississippi State (where he played college ball) before being hired as an assistant special teams coach by Nick Saban at Alabama. His work ethic and football acumen reportedly impressed and Judge was hired by Bill Belichick (a close friend of Saban's) in 2012. Judge was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015 and was given additional duties as the wide receivers' coach in 2019.

Belichick has praised Judge, saying "Joe has done a great job of organizing that [special teams] as well as taking on some other things with the offense, in particular receivers, so he’s done a great job. He’s an excellent coach."

There were rumored that Belichick was considering Judge as a successor to Josh McDaniels at offensive coordinator should he be hired this cycle.

2) The Giants had to move fast to get him

While Judge only had one interview at the NFL level, he also interviewed to be the next head coach of Mississippi State, where he went to college.

Judge was widely considered the favorite to get Mississippi State job, and reportedly had an offer on the table when the Giants hired him.

3) Judge knows what winning looks like

Judge has coached for the most successful programs at their levels over the last decade. He won two National Championships at Alabama, and has a trio of Super Bowl rings with the Patriots.

Judge hasn’t just been on winning teams, his units have played roles in the wins. Over his five years as the Patriots’ special teams coordinator, Judge’s units have averaged 8th in Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA rankings.

Despite being just 38 years old, Judge has been involved in more wins, big games and championships than many candidates 15 years his senior.