Hugh Freeze Dec 18, 2021; Mobile, Alabama, USA; Liberty Flames head coach Hugh Freeze watches his defense on the field in the first quarter during the 2021 LendingTree Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert McDuffie-USA TODAY Sports

The Auburn Tigers reportedly have their next head football coach and, after some reports of concern from its fanbase and alumni, they’ve decided to move forward anyway and hire Liberty’s Hugh Freeze.

The news comes on the heels of reports that many in the Auburn community bristled at the idea of hiring someone who oversaw a program that committed various recruiting and academic violations, not to mention various other indiscretions. Still, it appears that the school could live with that given Freeze’s track record on the field in the last five years at Liberty.

Freeze oversaw Ole Miss from 2012 to 2016, leading the Rebels to a 10-3 season in 2015 and going 39-25 in that span. However, a massive NCAA violation scandal ended up costing him not only his job but most of those wins after it was revealed that Ole Miss committed numerous recruiting violations and Freeze himself had used a school phone to communicate with an escort service on multiple occasions.

After some time away, Freeze was hired at Liberty where he was given a second chance. He took advantage of it by turning the Flames into a perennial bowl team, though he courted controversy by DMing a sexual assault victim to chastise her for criticizing his AD. Still, he’s won enough football games for his off-the-field actions to be forgiven, it seems. At least by major college football administrators.

Freeze agreed to a contract extension with Liberty in October through 2030, but of course, that didn’t mean anything.

There’s certainly more to come with Freeze and Auburn but for now, the reactions to his hiring have been pretty strong.

[Ross Dellenger]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to