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Hugh Freeze named next head football coach

AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Hugh Freeze has been named the new head football coach for the Auburn Tigers, Athletics Director John Cohen announced Monday.

Previously, Freeze led Liberty to a 34-15 record with four bowl game appearances between 2019-22. Freeze coached third round pick and previous Auburn transfer at quarterback, Malik Willis.

“After a thoughtful, thorough, and well-vetted search, we ended where we started, with Hugh Freeze,” 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.”

Before getting the head coaching job at Liberty, Freeze was the Ole Miss head coach from 2012-16. With the Rebels, Freeze coached the team to a 39-25 record. Over his 12 year years, Freeze had a 103-47 coaching record.

"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.”

In the last three seasons, Liberty was one of five teams to win a bowl game each year. Over the same period, Liberty became the second ever team to win a bowl game in its first three full seasons in the FBS.

In his 2020 season, Freeze was a finalist for the George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award leading Liberty to a 10-1 season which had the best start in program history (8-0) and tied the program record in wins with 10. Liberty finished as the No. 9 rushing offense in the country posting 2,776 yards. The total offense and defense both finished in the top-20.

The last three head coaches at Auburn all were head coaches at Arkansas State from 2011-2013 (2011: Freeze, 2012: Gus Malzahn, 2013: Bryan Harsin).