Liberty University has hired former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze as the Flames' next football coach. The University agreed to terms with Freeze on Friday morning, the team announced.
Freeze will replace Turner Gill, who retired after Liberty completed its inaugural Football Bowl Subdivision season last weekend and went 6–6 in 2018.
The 49-year-old coach held an introductory press conference Friday afternoon with Liberty athletic director Ian McCaw.
"What really impressed us the most with him is he's a man of great faith, a great family man," McCaw said Friday.
Freeze said the Flames' program is going to be about core values, "No. 1 is Faith. It’s about the man Jesus Christ." He said that after sitting out of football for almost two years, he's had time to reflect on what those values are.
"I can’t wait to get started," Freeze said. "I’m more determined than ever, more dedicated than ever."
He added that he'll teach his players from his own experience of "getting it right and wrong."
Freeze, who hasn’t coached since the 2016-17 season, arrives at Liberty with a college coaching record of 69-32. He led Ole Miss to a 39–25 mark with four bowl game appearances during his five seasons there. He resigned in July 2017 amid an NCAA investigation into the program and his own personal conduct. The investigation determined that he used a school-issued cell phone to call escort services on multiple occasions.
He led Ole Miss to a Sugar Bowl victory in 2015 before the Rebels received a two-year postseason ban for "lacking institutional control" and fostering "an unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting" under Freeze. The NCAA allegations also accused Freeze of failing to monitor his coaching staff. Recruiting restrictions were also imposed on Ole Miss's program as a result.
Liberty will mark Freeze's first coaching job since he resigned two seasons ago. He had previously been named the offensive coordinator of the Arizona Hotshots in The Alliance of American Football in October.