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“Freeze leading Ole Miss players & faithful, on and off the field”

By Seph Anderson

Seph received a B.B.A. (Marketing) from Ole Miss in ‘04 & M.A. (Higher Education Administration) from Ole Miss in ’06.

Email him at: seph.anderson@hottytoddy.com

Similar to the majority of my fellow Rebel faithful, I too admittedly just didn’t know what to expect of Coach Freeze when the season began. Who did?

Looking back today though after our final snap of the year, I couldn’t be more proud of what Coach Hugh Freeze is doing for Ole Miss on and off the gridiron. He truly “gets it” folks!

Sure, our coaching staff and players far surpassed any expectations by posting a seven win-season, including wins in the Egg Bowl and a trip to a bowl game for the first time since 2010. It was an amazing year.

More important to me though, as a young thirty-something Ole Miss alumni, staff member, freshman year experience instructor, and family man with two little girls,  I’m far more impressed with the “culture” off the field Coach Freeze is bringing to everyone associated with Ole Miss.

Let’s face it, Southeastern Conference (SEC) coaches are paid the big bucks to win, period. Coach Freeze knows that, and he’s building a winner at Ole Miss. However, it’s the little things he does that aren’t a part of his daily tasks that stand out to me.

What do I mean? The easiest way to see for yourself is to join Twitter, if only to simply “follow” @CoachHughFreeze. Seriously, follow coach and see what I mean for a few weeks. You’ll  be pleasantly surprised.

#wintheday – many fans know this is a Twitter hashtag associated with coach, but do you know it’s origins?

Freeze best explained the hashtag’s meaning to CBS commentator Tim Brando a few years ago:

“I believe, whatever state we’re in, whatever situation you’re in in life or football, the one thing we have equal at Ole Miss with Alabama, LSU, or whoever – the only thing we have equal is time.  You can look at budgets, you can look at resources, you can look at facilities, you can look at coaching experience, at whatever you want, but the only thing we have that’s guaranteed to be equal with those other schools and people we’ll play next year is time. So how do we take advantage of that is to make the most out of today.  So that’s where I got “Win the Day” from.  And the second part of that is every single day our staff, we’re charged with finding three things that we must do, we have to accomplish today to make sure the day was a success, that we won the day.”

The #wintheday ideal can be applied to all aspects of life on and off the field, for players, fans, and even people who don’t like football. For me, it’s become a motto of mine, and one I intend on instilling in my own kids and freshmen students each year.

Besides this popular Twitter hashtag though, I encourage you to just peruse Coach Freeze’s tweets throughout a week to see how he “daily” interacts with his own players, fans, and the media. He’s as down to earth as the girl next door, and genuine to boot. A rare combination in the pressure-cooker that is SEC football coaching today. But again, he “gets it” on and off the field.

For example, an early morning inspirational tweet from the coach as 2012 neared an end:

“Why not wrap up your year with forgiveness of a hurt, a note of appreciation to a friend, a kind act, or letting go of bitterness.”

Coach Freeze is providing his coaching staff, players, and Ole Miss fan base with inspiration on how to live a quality everyday life. Do you think more than a handful of other college football coaches in the country deliver such daily messages? Not a chance.

In the uber-competitive world of college football, where too many coaches live by the cut-throat “win at all costs” model, our humble Ole Miss leader should be commended for doing the little things in life that have already changed the culture at Ole Miss.

He’s building a winner on the field that will continue to improve in the years ahead with our support, but more importantly he’s the type of man off the field that all of us should be proud to call a part of the Ole Miss family.

In closing, Coach Freeze, I commend you on a job well done leading us on-the-field this year, and an even better job done leading our young men, fanbase, and Ole Miss family off-the-field.

As a both a father and freshman instructor that teaches academic and life skills each fall to my students, thank you personally for providing me with some new inspiration to share myself.


Seph Anderson

Ole Miss alumni, Ole Miss Student Loan Coordinator, Ole Miss Freshman Year Experience Coordinator


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