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Ole Miss Announces Major Sports Expansion

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Freeze gets contract extension, IPF upgrades announced
By: David Collier, junior broadcast journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media
With a matchup in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Pittsburgh less than a month away, the Ole Miss athletics department used the momentum from a successful football season to announce upgrades to the Indoor Practice Facility as well as an increase in salaries for the football coaching staff on Thursday.
Rebel head coach Hugh Freeze’s contract received a one-year extension, and his base salary will increase to $2 million. Freeze will also earn $100,000 per win in Southeastern Conference play beginning with the second victory, while the rest of his incentives package will remain the same.
In addition to Freeze’s salary increase, his coaching staff’s salary pool will receive a 10 percent increase.
“Coach Freeze and his staff quickly changed the culture and added the necessary confidence in our football program, and we look forward to seeing our rise among the SEC elite under his leadership,” Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork said in a release. “We all believe that coach Freeze is the perfect fit for Ole Miss, and we are just beginning to see the fruits of everyone’s hard work.”
Bjork also announced plans for a $12.5 million renovation and expansion of the Indoor Practice Facility that is part of the first phase of the Forward Together campaign. The upgrades are expected to start in early 2013 and finished in late 2013 and early 2014, according to the release.
“The facility enhancements are all about giving our coaches a greater platform to recruit from and our student-athletes the best tools to be successful,” Bjork said in the release. “While we are proud of our current facilities, we cannot simply maintain, or we fall behind. These enhancements will benefit our entire athletics program and place our football facilities among the finest in the nation.”
The construction will include a full kitchen and dining hall that will be open to every student and faculty member as well as be equipped with a nutrition center. Also among the upgrades will be a new team meeting room that will be located on the north end of the IPF, and it will seat approximately 200. The new team meeting room will be equipped with new audio/video equipment and coaching software.
Other additions to the IPF include a new head coaches office adjacent to the new team meeting room, an extension of the weight room and expanded locker room and player lounge.
“I want to thank Ross and our administration for their commitment to this program, our players and coaches. My family and I love Ole Miss, and this is a great place to call home,” Freeze said in the release. “While we are proud of our accomplishments this season, we have yet to reach our goal of returning championships to the University of Mississippi.
“This investment and particularly the facility improvements are a major step in providing our players the best student-athlete experience and creating an environment that will attract the nation’s top recruits.”

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