Ole Miss Rebel Football Coach Hugh Freeze Gaining National Attention
By: Seph Anderson
The Sportswriter to The South, Seph Anderson, focuses his sports writing skills on covering timely Ole Miss & SEC news, among all things sports across the South.
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Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze is a natural born leader quickly gaining national attention.
Hired December 5, 2011 as the 37th head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, Freeze is now entering his second season at Ole Miss. In just over a year, Freeze is already building a name for himself among his SEC and national coaching counterparts for his quality of work off and on the field.
Success off the Field
While Freeze is quickly building a perennial winner at Ole Miss, the root of his success stems from the kind of man he is away from the gridiron.
Simply put, Hugh Freeze is a quality human being, not just a winning football coach.
In a world of college football where too many coaches put winning above all else, the 43-year-old Rebel leader understands the importance of preparing his players for life after football. Sure every college football player wishes to play in the National Football League (NFL), but Freeze understands the majority of the young men he coaches on a daily basis need to develop life skills outside of football.
The quickest way to pick up on Freeze’s ideals for living a quality life is to follow him on Twitter.
The inspirational head coach tweets on a near daily basis about life in general, whether it’s a motivational quote or quick proverb. Most people may wonder why Freeze takes the time out of his busy schedule to try and inspire his players and followers on Twitter? It’s just in his genetic makeup. Hugh Freeze is a passionate teacher and parent at heart.
Family is paramount to Freeze, as in his own family, his football team and the entire extended Ole Miss family (students, faculty, staff, fans and alumni).
During his introductory press conference as head coach at Ole Miss, Freeze proclaimed:
“Family will be a huge thing. I understand the Ole Miss people and the love you have for the University, each other and the love you have for family. I have that love. This is a destination place for me. This is where I want to live and retire. This is home to me.”
The Ole Miss and Oxford community is excited about what Freeze has brought to the Ole Miss program, and there is good reason to believe Freeze will remain a member of the Ole Miss family for a very long time.
Success on the Field
Prior to being named head coach at Ole Miss in 2011, Hugh Freeze had success in various positions at schools such as Arkansas State University (ASU), Lambuth University (LU), San Jose State University (SJSU) and even Ole Miss (OM) as an assistant coach.
In his initial season at Ole Miss, Freeze led the Rebels to their first bowl bid since 2009 and a 7-6 final record. That’s quite impressive for a team and fan base that was reeling coming off 2-10 and 4-8 seasons respectively the two years prior. Looking ahead to 2013, Ole Miss should easily look to improve upon the 7-6 record as they try and work their way up the SEC ranks. Year two of the Hugh Freeze era should produce an even more efficient fast break offense under QB Bo Wallace.
Having already pumped excitement back into a deflated fan base, don’t look now but Freeze has the Rebels becoming a national player on the recruiting trail. Currently sitting with no. 12 recruiting class in 2013 per scout.com, Freeze’s staff is still hot on the recruiting trail heading into National Signing Day on February 6. With a couple of more commitments from top recruits which many expect the Rebels to sign, Freeze could haul in as high as a Top 5 recruiting class in 2013.
The Ole Miss Rebels are here to stay with Freeze at the helm, and SEC foes now have another team to be on the lookout for on the field and recruiting trail. If Freeze can continue to sign talented recruiting classes that live up to their expectations on the field, Ole Miss should be armed with the talent necessary to compete for an SEC Championship within the next couple of years.
Don’t expect less of Freeze, as he already has many things working in his favor at Ole Miss.
A closer look at Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze quickly reveals some of the reasons he is becoming one of the hot new coaches in college football, and he is just beginning his work in Oxford.