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New York Giants officially make Joe Judge head coach

Posted: 6:45 PM, Jan 08, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-08 18:45:30-05
New York Giants officially make Joe Judge head coach

FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2019, New England Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge, center, speaks to head coach Bill Belichick. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Joe Judge is officially the new coach of the New York Giants.

The New England Patriots special teams coordinator and receivers coach reached a contract agreement Wednesday. The deal was finalized a day after the 38-year-old was offered the job and asked to turn around a franchise that has made the playoffs once since the 2011 season.

Judge succeeds Pat Shurmur, who was fired a week ago after winning nine games in two seasons. Judge was not considered a front-runner for the Giants job.

Mentored by Bill Belichick and Nick Saban in a 15-year career, Judge becomes a head coach for the first time. At 38, he is one of the youngest NFL coaches. Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams currently is the youngest at 33.

Judge has won three Super Bowls with New England in eight years as an assistant on Belichick’s staff. He was the fifth candidate the Giants interviewed since firing Pat Shurmur on Dec. 30. Among those, Mike McCarthy agreed Monday to become the Dallas Cowboys’ new coach. Another candidate, Matt Rhule, who was supposed to interview with New York on Tuesday, is instead headed to the Carolina Panthers, according to people familiar with those situations.

Judge joined the Patriots as a special teams assistant in 2012 and helped guide them to Super Bowls titles in the 2014, ’16 and ’18 seasons.

Before joining New England, he spent three years in the same role under Saban at Alabama. He won titles with the Crimson Tide in 2009 and ’11. He also coached at Mississippi State and Birmingham-Southern.

With Judge as special teams coordinator since 2015, New England consistently ranked as one of the NFL’s top units. He added receivers to his responsibilities in 2019. He coached kicker Stephen Gostkowski to the All-Pro team in 2015 and special teams captain Matt Slater to the same honors in 2016 and this season.

Belichick called Judge “an excellent coach” and said he excelled in his added duties this season.

“Joe’s done a great job. He’s done a great job with the kicking game,” Belichick said. “He’s expanded the role a little bit and that’s kind of had a little bit of a ripple effect in the way we’ve organized the kicking game, but that’s all worked out pretty efficiently. Joe’s done a good job of organizing that, as well as taking care on some other things with the offense and particularly receivers.”

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AP Sports Writers Tom Canavan; Schuyler Dixon in Frisco, Texas; Steve Reed in Charlotte, N.C.; and Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Mass., contributed to this report.

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