It's hard to doubt Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze's dedication after he coached against Syracuse on Saturday from a coaches' box hosptial bed at Williams Stadium in Lynchburg, VA. But Freeze's strange setup certainly resulted in some interesting images during Saturday's broadcast.
Freeze arrived in the stadium in a wheelchair, then posted up in his hosptial bed as the Flames hosted No. 22 Syracuse. Let's just say Freeze looked a little out of place attempting to lead his squad, which lost 24–0 to the Orange.
His day even included a pregame pep talk...via video.
Freeze's setup on Saturday was certainly funny, but his back pain over the summer is no laughing matter. He missed nearly two weeks of Liberty practice in the offseason due to a herniated disk. He told ESPN that a "potentially life-threatening strand of staph infection entered his bloodstream" and Freeze underwent emergency surgery on Aug. 16 at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
"The doctors told me if it had been another 24 hours, that strand of bacteria could have gotten to my heart and that I would have been fighting for my life," Freeze told ESPN. "It's the way God works because there's no doubt that bacteria would have killed me if [Liberty University] President (Jerry) Falwell wasn't so quick to make sure we got the right people involved.
"I'm blessed that I had so many brilliant medical minds coming together to help. I didn't even know at the time how much trouble I was in."
Liberty's head coach went 39–25 leading Ole Miss from 2012-15. Freeze stepped down as the Rebels' head coach in July 2017 after a scandal surrounding a female escort service.