The Giants hired their new head coach Joe Judge suddenly and before anyone realized their coaching search was finished, in part because of competition not from an NFL team, but from a college team.
According to Giants owner John Mara, Mississippi State was making a strong push for Judge, and the Giants wanted to hire him before Mississippi State could.
“He was under some pressure to make a decision for Mississippi State,” Mara said on WFAN. “They were putting some pressure on him to come to an agreement quickly.”
The Giants canceled a scheduled interview with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to hire Judge, so they were serious about acting fast so as not to lose Judge. It’s surprising, to say the least, that the Giants thought they might lose their first choice of head coaches to Mississippi State, which is not a top-tier college coaching job, but that’s where the Giants were.
Judge played his college football at Mississippi State and had his first coaching job there as a graduate assistant, so perhaps the Giants thought the personal connection was enough for Judge to take that job if they didn’t act fast to lock him in. Mississippi State ended up hiring Mike Leach the day after the Giants hired Judge.