Joe Judge enters his third season as the special teams coach, following three seasons as the assistant special teams coach. Judge was promoted to the position following the retirement of Scott O'Brien from coaching in 2015.
Patriots special teams units have enjoyed successful seasons in Judge's first five years with New England. In addition to K Stephen Gostkowski leading the NFL in scoring for four of the past five seasons under Judge's tutelage, Gostkowski was also elected to the Pro Bowl in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Additionally, Matthew Slater was selected to his sixth straight Pro Bowl as a special teamer in 2016 and earned Associated Press First Team: All-Pro honors for the first time in his career, while Nate Ebner tied for the NFL lead in special teams tackles.
In Judge's first season in 2012, New England led the NFL in extra points and finished second in punt return yards and fewest punt return yards allowed. In 2013, the Patriots finished tied for most field goals made and field goal percentage. Last season, the field goal unit led the league in field goals made and was second in field goal percentage.
Judge came to the Patriots after a three-year stint at the University of Alabama as a football analyst under coach Nick Saban. While on the Alabama staff, Judge was a member of two National Championship teams in 2009 and 2011 and assisted with the special teams units. At Alabama, Judge's special teams units were honored with a First-Team All American kicker and Groza Award finalist (Leigh Tiffin, 2009), a First-Team All American return specialist (Javier Arenas, 2009), an SEC All-Freshman team punter (Cody Mandell, 2010) and a returner who finished his career ranked second all-time in NCAA return yards (Javier Arenas).
Prior to going to Alabama, Judge spent one season at Birmingham-Southern where he served as special teams/linebackers coach in 2008. He began his coaching career at Mississippi State as a graduate assistant under Sylvester Croom from 2005-07. While at Mississippi State, Judge tutored a freshman All-SEC punter, five All-SEC linebackers and a returner who finished as the all-time SEC leader in career return yards and kickoff return yards.
Judge played for Mississippi State from 2000-04, earning three letters. He was also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and made the Dean's List.
Judge played quarterback and strong safety during a four-year high school career at Landsdale (Pa.) Catholic High School under Jim Algeo. He was named All-Area as a junior and senior.
He was born Dec. 31, 1981, in Philadelphia, Pa. His father, Joseph, played football at Temple and professionally with the Hamilton Tigercats of the CFL. He is currently working on his PhD in education. Judge's wife, Amber, was an All-SEC soccer player at Mississippi State, and they have four children together - Sean, Michael, Emma Riley and Ella Grace.