Auburn names Hugh Freeze head football coach
Hugh Freeze had the perfect resume for Auburn. He coached one season at Arkansas State, and that seems to be what qualifies you to run the Tigers football program.
Auburn hired a former Arkansas State coach, fired him, replaced him with a former Arkansas State coach, fired him and then replaced him with a former Arkansas State coach.
— Andrew Hutchinson (@NWAHutch) November 28, 2022
The trifecta goes: Gus Malzahn>Bryan Harsin>Hugh Freeze
Freeze was named Auburn’s football coach on Monday.
The head coach at Liberty from 2019-22, Freeze led the Flames to four bowl games and a 34-15 record. …
“After a thoughtful, thorough, and well-vetted search, we ended where we started, with Hugh Freeze,” 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).
Freeze credited Cadillac Williams, who was the interim coach after Harsin was fired during the 2022 season.
“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.
Freeze’s first run in the SEC ended in scandal, as chronicled by The Auburn Plainsman:
Beginning Dec. 5, 2011, he served as the head coach of Ole Miss, during which time the Rebels went 6-6. By his third season, the team improved to a 9-3 regular season record.
In January 2016, the NCAA charged the University of Mississippi with multiple recruiting violations and upon a reopening of the investigation, it was discovered that players were receiving “impermissible benefits,” not monitoring assistants, not properly controlling the program and, most egregiously, soliciting female escorts on his work phone.
In July 2017, Freeze was given an ultimatum to either resign or be fired for violations of the ethics clause of his contract. In February 2019, the NCAA passed down its ruling on the program and vacated 27 of the team’s wins under Freeze.