The past couple of days have been a whirlwind for New York Giants fans. But the dust is beginning to settle as the team officially announced the hiring of Joe Judge as their new head coach on Wednesday afternoon.
Judge, 38, has spent the last 11 years as a special teams coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide and New England Patriots. He has been on Bill Belichick’s staff since 2012. At Alabama, he served under NIck Saban. The inclusion of his name in the list of coaching candidates for the Giants was a curiosity and a surprise, and news of his hiring Tuesday morning was nothing short of a stunner.
“I am humbled and honored,” Judge said in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank John Mara, Steve Tisch, Dave Gettleman and Kevin Abrams for this opportunity. Over the past couple of days we had great conversations about where this team is and where it is headed and how we are going to get there. My job is to lead our players and coaches. The mission is clear, to win games. There is a process to reaching that objective, and we will implement that process and work that process starting today.”
In his 15 seasons as an NFL and collegiate coach, Judge has been a part of five championship teams. He was on the Patriots’ staff when they won Super Bowls XLIX, LI and LIII. New England played in the AFC Championship Game in each of Judge’s first seven seasons with the team. In addition, he coached at the University of Alabama when the Crimson Tide won BCS titles in 2009 and 2011.
With the question of the Giants’ head coach now settled, we can now begin speculation on how the new coaching staff is filled out. Once we know who the new (or returning) assistant coaches are, we can really start to speculate about free agency and the 2020 NFL draft.
The Giants interviewed Kris Richard, Mike McCarthy, Eric Bieniemy and Don ‘Wink’ Martindale in addition to Judge. They were also said to be interested in Matt Rhule, who cancelled a scheduled interview with the Giants and took the Carolina Panthers job, and Josh McDaniels. McCarthy took the Dallas Cowboys head-coaching job.
Giants’ co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch both used the word “impressive” in describing Judge.
“This was the deepest group of quality candidates I can recall, and Joe is as impressive a candidate as I have interviewed,” Mara said. “We met with Joe on Monday. We did have some other candidates lined up to speak with, but Joe had established the threshold at that point. He knows what winning looks like and should look like. His exposure and experience in New England and Alabama have helped shape his philosophy of building a winning program and culture. We are thankful that he has accepted the responsibility to lead our team.”
“We had a great conversation, and Joe articulated his vision of leadership and team building,” Tisch said. “He clearly learned some valuable lessons in both those areas while working with Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. He is an impressive young leader, and as we said last week, he will have the full support of ownership to get us where we want to be.”
Judge will be formally introduced at an afternoon press conference on Thursday.
“Joe has prepared for this moment and is ready for the challenge of leading our team,” said Dave Gettleman, the Giants’ general manager. “His beliefs and principles are all about the team. Because of his background with special teams working under Bill Belichick, he has had the experience of evaluating and managing the entire roster. Can’t wait to work with him.”