New York Giants finalize deal to make Joe Judge head coach

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FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, speaks with special teams coach Joe Judge, right, during NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass. The New York Giants and Patriots assistant Joe Judge are working on a deal for him to become the team's head coach, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press The person spoke to the on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, because the deal is not done. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – New England Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge has been hired as the New York Giants head coach.

The Giants and representatives for Judge reached a contract agreement Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the 38-year-old was offered the job and asked to turn around a franchise that has made the playoffs once since winning the Super Bowl in February 2012.

Judge succeeds Pat Shurmur, who was fired a week ago Monday after winning nine games in two seasons.

“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," Judge said in a statement. “My job is to lead our players and coaches. The mission is clear, to win games.”

The hiring was surprising because Judge was not considered a favorite for the job. He had never been a head coach. However, he had worked for two of the top head coaches in football — Bill Belichick of the Patriots and Nick Saban of Alabama.

Co-owner John Mara said Judge was very impressive in his interview Monday.

“He knows what winning looks like and should look like," Mara said. “His exposure and experience in New England and Alabama have helped shape his philosophy of building a winning program and culture. ” The two men considered the front runners for the Giants' job opted to coach other teams.

Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl and went to the playoffs nine times in 12-plus seasons, accepted the Dallas Cowboys' job. He interviewed with the Giants last week.