New Auburn head football coach Hugh Freeze is back in the SEC.

The former Ole Miss coach, who left in 2016 after dialing escorts from a company phone and violating NCAA recruiting rules, said Tuesday at SEC Media Days in Nashville, Tenn., that it was "good to be back" in the league he showed he could hang with the likes of Alabama. Freeze also emphasized returning Auburn "to its rightful place in the hierarchy in college football."

"It's exciting to represent Auburn," Freeze opened his remarks. "Our administration, President Roberts and John Cohen and all of the ADs that work with them have been just incredible in giving me and our family this opportunity to lead the proud program at Auburn and to restore it to its rightful place in the hierarchy in college football, and we know we've got a tall task ahead, but it's one where we're excited."

"The alignment I sense from President Roberts to John Cohen down to myself, I think, is at an all-time high maybe for Auburn," he continued. "Obviously, I haven't been there, so I don't have a lot to compare it to, but the support I feel and the alignment I feel - particularly with those two guys - is very, very exciting."

Freeze went on to praise the Auburn fanbase and touted the record-breaking season ticket sales ahead of the 2023 season.

"Hopefully, [the fans] will give us a little patience as we continue to rebuild this roster to hopefully close the gap on the guys in this league that are doing it at a high, high level," he added.

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