Freeze says Liberty coaching job provides 'reboot'

Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze agrees to deal as Liberty's head coach

Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze agrees to deal as Liberty's head coach

Former Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze has agreed to become Liberty University's new football coach, reports ESPN.

More than that, however, after leaving MS in 2017 amid controversy, his arrival at the private, Christian school signifies something of a new beginning.

Ole Miss officials said Freeze exhibited "a pattern of personal misconduct inconsistent with the standards we expect from the leader of our football team".

The 49 year old has been out of coaching the last two seasons after resigning under pressure from the Ole Miss job in July 2017 amid an NCAA investigation and evidence that he had made multiple calls to an escort service using his university-issued cell phone. He would have been suspended two conference games in 2018 if he had been a head coach, but he did not take a job a year ago.

The university did not mention Freeze by name.

The call led the school to comb through the rest of his phone records, revealing more problems.

Ole Miss was also mired in an NCAA rules investigation during much of his tenure that eventually resulted in a two-year postseason ban.

Freeze had discussions with Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State about their vacant offensive coordinator positions in recent weeks.

For his part, Freeze said that while he could have considered going to another school in the all-powerful SEC, personal factors weighed more heavily on the decision than bowl bids or Top 25 rankings.

"What an honor it is for me and my family to join the Liberty family", Freeze said in a Liberty Athletics news release. The relationship between Freeze and Liberty dates back to January when he and his wife spoke at convocation.

"I had to say to people that I loved, 'I am sorry". "And today is really the first day I can tell the faith family, 'I am sorry".

Freeze will replace Turner Gill, who retired after Liberty completed its inaugural Football Bowl Subdivision season last weekend and went 6-6 in 2018. Gill was 47-35 in seven years with the Flames including a 6-6 record in 2018 - the program's first in FBS.

Former Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw, who resigned in wake of the school's sexual assault scandal, is Liberty's athletic director.