Sources: Auburn, Freeze in talks on coaching job
Auburn has actually been in conversation with Liberty’s Hugh Freeze for weeks about him ending up being the school’s next football coach, sources told ESPN’s Pete Thamel.Sources said the
Tigers are not expected to make an official deal until after Saturday’s Iron Championship game against Alabama, but the sides have actually informally talked about an agreement for more than a week.Auburn’s pursuit of Freeze has actually come into focus
after Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said earlier today that he planned to stay with the Rebels even if the Tigers provided him their head-coaching position. Kiffin then informed ESPN’s Chris Low on Saturday that he had actually agreed to an agreement extension with Ole Miss.New Auburn athletic director John Cohen, who was hired Oct. 31, had narrowed the search to Kiffin and
Freeze and greatly vetted both coaches, sources informed Low.Freeze would go back to the SEC after investing 5 seasons at Ole Miss from 2012 to 2016. Freeze went 39-25 for the Rebels prior to he resigned in July 2017 after being discovered to have actually utilized a university-provided cell phone to call a number related to an escort service.
1 Related Ole Miss was likewise put on NCAA probation in 2017 for violations that took place in part under Freeze, and the sanctions consisted of a two-year bowl ban.Freeze, while cited by the NCAA’s committee on offenses for failure to monitor his assistant coaches and the school’s boosters, did not get a show-cause charge and “promoted an atmosphere of compliance, “according to the NCAA report.The 53-year-old Freeze increased back to prominence with the Flames. After Turner Gill went 6-6 in Liberty’s very first full-time FBS season in 2018, Freeze raised the bar, going 8-5, 10-1 and 8-5 in his first three seasons. That run included a Treatment Bowl success over No. 9 Coastal Carolina in 2020. The Flames are 8-3 this season, consisting of a win over Arkansas on Nov. 5.
Sources told ESPN that Freeze’s history of winning and the research study of his analytics and quarterback advancement made him attractive. Auburn officials also considered Freeze an elite fit in the community, with an outbound nature that fits the program’s college-town vibe.Freeze had actually signed a new eight-year agreement with Liberty in October. His wage, which sources told Thamel was simply under
$5 million annually, put him amongst the highest-paid coaches in the Group of 5. Auburn fired Bryan Harsin on Oct. 31 after a four-game losing streak dropped the Tigers to 3-5 on the season. Harsin was 9-12 general in less than 2 seasons at Auburn, which experienced duplicated struggles on offense and had trouble sustaining success on the recruiting path. Auburn owed Harsin a$ 15.5 million buyout, with 50 %of that due within 1 month of termination.Entering Saturday, the Tigers have gone 2-1 under interim coach Cadillac Williams, a former star running back at the school.Freeze would end up being Auburn’s third head coach in the previous four years.
Gus Malzahn, presently at UCF, was fired at the end of the 2020 season prior to Harsin lasted parts of 2 seasons.The Tigers last won an SEC champion in 2013, Malzahn’s very first season as coach, when they likewise played in the BCS national championship game, losing to Florida State.