The Giants have announced that former New England Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge will be the 19th head coach in New York Giants history.
Judge began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State for three years before becoming the linebackers coach for a year at Birmingham-Southern. He then spent three years as a special teams assistant for Nick Saban at Alabama until he made the jump to the NFL when he joined Bill Belichick's coaching staff in 2012.
"Joe did a fantastic job for our program early on in our tenure in Tuscaloosa," Saban said. "He went on to have a lot of success on Bill's staff in New England. Joe is one of the brightest young coaches in our profession, and I think he will do a tremendous job as the head coach of the New York Giants. They are getting an extremely smart football coach who is very loyal, organized and diligent about getting the job done. We wish Joe and his entire family the best of luck with the Giants."
Judge has worked under Belichick for the last eight seasons, first as a special teams assistant and then as the special teams coordinator for the past five years. He was given the added responsibility of coaching the team's wide receivers this past season.
Belichick had nothing but high praise for his former assistant when talking to Patriots reporters after the regular-season finale.
"Joe has done an outstanding job," Belichick said. "He's an excellent coach. He understands the game well, works extremely hard and is a very good teacher of fundamentals. Joe picks up concepts and coaching points quickly. He is an exceptional leader and one of the best coaches I have been around. He has been responsible for coaching units comprised of nearly every player on the roster. That requires an ability to handle many moving parts, make constant adjustments and immediate decisions. I appreciate Joe's many contributions to our staff and team and wish him well."
Judge was a member of three Super Bowl championship teams during his time in New England. In addition, the Patriots have had one of the top special teams units in the NFL since Judge took over as the coordinator in 2015. Over the last five years, the unit has graded in the top-10 in special teams grades each season, according to Pro Football Focus.
"Joe can probably coach any position on the field," Belichick told Patriots Wire. "He does an excellent job of teaching players. He thinks quickly and the game comes easy to him. He understands concepts, adjustments and fundamental technique."
Belichick wasn't the only one to praise Judge, as numerous players and coaches who have worked with him in the past have gone on record to commend him.
"Joe is a coach I have a lot of respect for after working alongside him for seven seasons. He has great attention to detail and leaves no stone unturned in his preparation. His units were always well-coached and among the best in the league. I wish him success in New York." – Miami Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores, who spent seven seasons working with Judge in New England from 2012-2018
"Joe and I worked together for three years when he was an assistant at Alabama. He was high energy, had great attention to detail, and was always wanting to learn more about all aspects of the game. He's been recognized for a while as an up and coming coach and I think the Giants are a great fit for him and he's a great fit for the Giants." – University of Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart, who spent three seasons with Judge at the University of Alabama from 2009-2011
"It has been a real joy working with Joe over the past eight years. Joe's commitment, work ethic and love for the game are incredible. His intelligence and knowledge of the game set him apart. We have shared many personal and professional mountaintop experiences together. I'm thankful for the time he coached me and know that without his contributions my personal NFL experience would not have been the same. I wish him nothing but the best moving forward. He will always have a fan in me." – Patriots Special Teamer Matthew Slater
"I'm not surprised at all [that Judge is pursuing a PhD in education]. Joe is such a smart guy, having been around him for all these years now. He knows so much about so many different things. He's really committed himself to his craft here, but it doesn't surprise me that he would want to continue to acquire knowledge and advance himself." – Slater
"There's no coach in this building that works harder to prepare himself. Obviously, coach Bill Belichick shows an excellent example, but Joe is always prepared no matter what he's doing, whether he's in our room with the kicking group or the receivers. … You're really getting a chance to see his football knowledge and his love of the game in his new role." – Slater
"Joe does a great job. Joe works hard. I don't know if Joe ever leaves the building. I think he's going to do a great job handling both (special teams and wide receivers). With special teams, you're used to handling a lot of stuff and moving parts with everyone on the team anyway. I'm wishing him good luck, and I don't think it will change the way that we interact." – Patriots Kicker Stephen Gostowski
"It's my first new coach. Joe Judge is a very passionate guy, he works very hard at his craft, it's exciting to have him and he's been doing a good job. I'm excited to have him." – Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman
"(He's) really, really, really, really detail-oriented. I think that's good for us, because he breaks down everything for us. Obviously, he's learning on the fly, but he's doing a really good job as it comes to detailing everything. I think it's helping us because we have a lot of younger guys who need the detail." – Patriots Wide Receiver Phillip Dorsett
"He's taking lessons from everybody. He's listening to everybody. He still learns on the fly, but like we said, he's really detail-oriented, and I think that's what makes him a good coach. He breaks down the little things and the little things matter when you're playing receiver." – Dorsett