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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The New York Giants fired coach Joe Judge on Tuesday after his two losing seasons with the team.
The move comes a day after general manager Dave Gettleman retired after four seasons on the job.
Judge, a first-time head coach, went 10-23 in his two years. He is the third Giants coach in a row to be fired after two seasons or less, after Ben McAdoo (13-15) and Pat Shurmur (9-23), as the once-proud franchise stumbles through one of the worst 10-year stretches in its history.
The move comes after Judge was left hanging for most of the last two days. He operated on Monday as if he wanted to stay, and held a team meeting before talking to the owners in the afternoon.
But the Giants did not mention that Judge would return when they issued a press release announcing Gettleman’s retirement. The judge had several meetings scheduled with ownership of the management of the team on Wednesday. It was during this meeting that Judge was informed that he would not return for a third season.
“[Co-owner] Steve [Tisch] and I both believe it’s in our franchise’s best interest to move in a different direction, “Giants co-owner John Mara said in a statement. We met with Joe yesterday afternoon to discuss the state of the team. I met with Joe again this afternoon, and it was during that conversation that I informed Joe of our decision. We appreciate Joe’s efforts on behalf of the organization.
“I said before the season started that I would feel good about the direction we were heading when we played our last game of the season. Unfortunately I can not make that statement and that is why we have taken this decision.
“We will hire a day-to-day manager, and this person will lead the effort to hire a new head coach.”
Judge, 40, seemed safe until late in the season when the Giants began to get out of control after losing quarterback Daniel Jones. They could not move the ball and scored more than 10 points once in those six games with Mike Glennon and then finally Jake Fromm, demanded by the Buffalo Bills training team, and started.
The Giants used three different starting quarterbacks in a single season for the first time since 1992. It was in Ray Handley’s second season as head coach, and he was also fired after the season ended.
The Giants’ ownership had wanted to keep him. Mara even gave the referee a vote of confidence earlier in the season despite a slow start.
But an animated 11-minute walk after a loss to the Chicago Bears two weeks ago ranked the organization, and running back-to-back quarterbacks sneak inside their own 5-yard line on the second and third downs last Sunday in a 22-7 losses to the Washington Football Team made Judge an easy goal and the Giants an ongoing joke.
The Giants were big spenders last offseason, and the expectation from the ownership was that they would at least be playoff challengers. But a slow start, 1-5 this season, the referee ruled. New York started 0-5 under him in 2020 and has now missed the playoffs nine of the last 10 seasons.
Judge’s .303 winning percentage is the third worst in the Giants’ franchise history, just above Shurmur, the man he replaced.
The Giants were among the league leaders in games missed due to injuries this season. All of their main offensive players – Jones, running back Saquon Barkley, left tackle Andrew Thomas, and receivers Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney – missed at least two games.
The referee came to the Giants after eight seasons with the New England Patriots, mostly as a special teams coordinator. He was highly recommended by Bill Belichick. Judge had previously worked under Nick Saban at the University of Alabama.
New York lured Judge with a five-year contract. He was to become head coach of the Mississippi State, his alma mater, before this opportunity arose. Two years and four days later he is out.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.