This time last week, the chance of Hugh Freeze joining the Tennessee staff felt pretty high. After a reported meeting with the former Ole Miss head coach, Jeremy Pruitt seemed to zero in on Freeze to replace Tyson Helton. Just a few days later, Freeze has now accepted the head coaching position at Liberty.
Jon Reed had the news last night.
I’ve been told Hugh Freeze is taking the Liberty job. Would make sense after Tennessee and Auburn passed/vetoed/who knows. Florida State never made sense.— Jon Reed (@Jon__Reed) December 7, 2018
Football Scoop followed this morning, with several confirmations coming after.
Sources with direct knowledge: Hugh Freeze has agreed to become Liberty head coach https://t.co/QwL4aARsEN— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 7, 2018
The Liberty job opened after Turner Gill retired earlier this week. From the start of their search, Freeze was the name most connected with the job.
Tennessee’s interest in Freeze appeared to be real. According to John Brice, Freeze was “quashed by UT powers.” Florida State and Auburn were both also reportedly in the mix for Freeze. With Auburn’s ongoing saga with Gus Malzahn, that never seemed very likely.
It’s somewhat surprising that we never heard more about Freeze in connection with the Alabama offensive coordinator job. Nick Saban tried to hire him last season, so it made sense to try again this year with the Ole Miss NCAA deal finally finished. However, Dan Enos is already on staff there and makes a ton of sense to replace Mike Locksley.
Freeze will now attempt to rebuild his coaching career at FBS Independent Liberty. The Flames went 6-6 in 2018. He will kick off his career in Lynchburg against Syracuse in September.