Auburn football hires Hugh Freeze, controversial coach back in the SEC
Once considered a toxic coach that couldn't possibly land another high-profile college football job, Hugh Freeze has resurfaced in the SEC after being named the 31st head football coach at Auburn.
Freeze was in the Southeastern Conference from 2012-2016 but abruptly resigned from Ole Miss after it was found out that he had used school resources for inappropriate actions including alleged calls to escort services while on the road with the football team.
Freeze spend the last six years rebuilding his football resume while at the helm of the Liberty Flames as their head coach for the last four years.
A release from Auburn has more details.
An experienced head coach at the collegiate level for 12 years, Freeze has quickly elevated each program he's led, including Ole Miss and most recently, Liberty.
The head coach at Liberty from 2019-22, Freeze led the Flames to four bowl games and a 34-15 record. During his tenure at Liberty, he took former Auburn quarterback Malik Willis and developed him into one of the nation's top quarterbacks in 2021.
"After a thoughtful, thorough, and well-vetted search, we ended where we started, with Hugh Freeze," Auburn athletic Director John Cohen said. "Of all the candidates we considered, Hugh was the best fit. Fit has several meanings, but the most important factors were student-athlete development, football strategy, recruiting and SEC experience."
Freeze has experienced similar success at each of his head coaching stops prior to Liberty that include Lambuth University (2008-09), Arkansas State (2011) and Ole Miss (2012-16). The Oxford, Mississippi, native lead each school to double digit win seasons, while helping Ole Miss to a top 10 national finish in 2015. His on-field coaching record in 12 years is 103-47.
Freeze has nearly three decades of continued coaching success, including head coaching experience that has led to conference titles, nationally ranked recruiting classes and bowl appearances at multiple stops during his highly decorated career.
"First, I want to acknowledge Cadillac Williams for the incredible job he did as interim head coach. The impact he made is immeasurable and cannot be overstated," Freeze said. "Secondly, Auburn is one of the preeminent programs in college football and I'm very appreciative of President Roberts and John Cohen for this opportunity at Auburn. I've been fortunate to witness first-hand how special Auburn is during my time as a head coach in the SEC and while visiting my daughter Jordan who attended Auburn and currently lives in the community. I can't wait to work with our student-athletes and the Auburn family to bring championships back to the Plains."
This season, Liberty finished the regular season 8-4 with a win at Arkansas and home versus BYU, while three of their four losses came by a combined five points.
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