Hugh Freeze Hired as Head Football Coach

Monday, November 28, 2022

Hugh Freeze Hired as Head Football Coach

NCAA Football: LendingTree Bowl-Eastern Michigan at Liberty
Robert McDuffie-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn fanbase split, hilarity will surely ensue.

Well, they did it anyway.

Despite a public outcry over the past three days, John Cohen (with help from a complement of boosters) made the hire that a majority of the Auburn fanbase was dreading. The Tigers will be now be led by Hugh Freeze, disgraced former coach at Ole Miss. He came from Liberty, where he spent the last three seasons.

Freeze got his start at the FBS level at Arkansas State, where he preceded Gus Malzahn as head coach. His only season in Jonesboro, the Red Wolves went 10-2 and won the Sun Belt. After that, he headed to Ole Miss for five seasons, where the Rebels went 39-25 over that time. They finished 5th, 5th, 3rd, 2nd, and 7th in the SEC West in each of those seasons, and finished with a winning conference record in only 2014-2015. After the 2016 season, in which the Rebels went just 5-7, Freeze resigned from his position after it was discovered that he had overseen a football program that committed a myriad of violations and was in the process of being charged with failure to monitor and lack of institutional control.

Furthermore, Freeze dealt with personal issues when it was revealed that he had contacted escort services multiple times over a five-year period with his university phone. After a 17-month absence from the coaching game, he was hired at Liberty and went 6-6, 8-5, 10-1, and 8-5 before finishing this season at 8-4. Liberty lost the final three games of the year, including a 49-14 drubbing at the hands of New Mexico State this past Saturday.

We’ve made our thoughts on this hire known, and we’re not fans. Hugh Freeze carries baggage, and despite his platitudes, does not deserve to have this job and will not unite the fanbase the way that Cadillac Williams did over the last month. Much of the good will that the Auburn administration has built up with firing Bryan Harsin, setting up Cadillac, and unveiling the new football facility will be erased by the distraction of having to deal with questions about Hugh Freeze’s background and transgressions. These aren’t transgressions from the distant past either, but from four months ago.

It remains to be seen what the full details of his employment will be, but early reports say it’s a 6-year deal with $6.5M being his salary. We’ll also see who he chooses to retain on staff and what the rest of his assistants will look like.

Here’s to the next era of Auburn football, taking full advantage of the end of Nick Saban’s career by hiring a worse version of the guy we fired two years ago.

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