AUBURN — The dust has finally settled now that Auburn has found its next head football coach. The Tigers have named Hugh Freeze the 31st head football coach in program history, athletics director John Cohen announced on Monday. Initial reports indicate that Freeze will be signing a 6-year, $6.5 million contract to be on the Plains. 

“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,” President Christopher B. Roberts said. “I am impressed with Coach Freeze’s focus on player development and his on-the-field success at multiple universities and at multiple levels.”

Freeze has been the football coach at Liberty for the past four seasons, amassing a 34-15 record during that time, including a 10-win season in 2020 and coaching quarterback and Heisman candidate Malik Willis. Freeze has been touted for his development of Willis and quarterbacks Bo Wallace and Chad Kelly.

“After a thoughtful, thorough, and well-vetted search, we ended where we started, with Hugh Freeze,” Cohen said in the team’s release. “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.”

His SEC experience is more complicated than his time at Liberty. While Freeze unofficially went 39-25 during his five seasons in Oxford, he is officially 12-25 at Ole Miss due to 15 Level-1 violations levied against the program by the NCAA following Freeze’s stint there.

"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.”

Freeze inherits a recruiting class that ranks out of the top 30 and a team that had its second-straight losing season, but he seems ready for the challenge and to return Auburn to its winning ways. 

“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,” Freeze said. “I can’t wait to work with our student-athletes and the Auburn family to bring championships back to the Plains.”

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