Hugh Freeze named Auburn head football coach

Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze looks towards his team during the second half of an NCAA...
Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze looks towards his team during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Mississippi won 27-14. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:29 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 6:21 PM EST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Hugh Freeze has been hired as the 31st head coach of the Auburn University football program.

The university made the official announcement Monday afternoon.

“After a thoughtful, thorough, and well-vetted search, we ended where we started, with Hugh Freeze,” Auburn Athletics 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 called Auburn a special place that he’s ready to join.

“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.”

Freeze joins Auburn from Liberty University, where he’d served in the same capacity since Dec. 2018. He led the Liberty Flames to their first bowl game as an FBS program in the 2019 season. Under his leadership, the team made the AP Top 25 Poll in 2020 for the first time ever. He leaves with a record of 34-15, according to WDBJ, a station in Roanoke, VA.

“I’m pleased that our Athletics Director John Cohen conducted a detailed and thorough national search process, and I look forward to welcoming Hugh and Jill Freeze to the Plains. I am impressed with Coach Freeze’s focus on player development and his on-the-field success at multiple universities and at multiple levels.”

At least one member of the team, Auburn quarterback Robby Ashford, has already publicly welcomed Freeze to the Plains.

The 53-year-old is no stranger to the SEC. He served as an assistant athletic director for external affairs at Ole Miss from 2005 until 2007 before becoming head coach in 2011. He resigned amid multiple misconduct allegations in 2017.

Freeze is also a former offensive coordinator at Arkansas State.

Freeze replaces Bryan Harsin, who was fired on Oct. 31 midway through his second season with the Tigers. The team finished out the season under interim coach Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, who went 2-2 while bringing renewed passion to the team and fanbase.

The Tigers ended the 2022 regular season with a 5-7 record.

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