Over the next four years, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze will average $4.925 million per year, as Athletics Director Ross Bjork announced salary increases for the football staff on Wednesday.
After guiding the Rebels to a second straight “New Year’s Six” bowl and a victory in the AllState Sugar Bowl, Freeze’s contract has been extended by one year to the maximum four years allowed by the state of Mississippi, and his base salary will rise from $4.3 million to $4.7 million as of Jan. 1, 2016. His salary will increase by $150,000 per year, and incentives will continue to be based on APR, playoff rankings, coaching honors and SEC Championship game and bowl participation.
In addition, the salary pool for Ole Miss’ nine assistant coaches rises from $3,110,000 to $4,260,000, and the budget for operations, strength and conditioning and other support staff increases by $260,000.
“In four short years, Hugh Freeze has taken Ole Miss Football from the bottom of the SEC to one of the premier programs in college football,” Bjork said. “Coach Freeze is a unique leader who has the ability to develop young men both on and off the field. With his staff’s leadership, chemistry and integrity, there are championships in our future, and this investment and ongoing stadium renovations indicate our commitment to supporting the vision. We look forward to seeing Coach Freeze on the Ole Miss sidelines for a long time.”
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is in the midst of a major facelift that will see the north end of the facility bowled in and transformed into an exciting new “front door” in 2016, complete with a plaza and bell tower. As part of the Forward Together capital campaign, the south end zone was renovated to add 30 luxury suites and 770 club level seats prior to the 2015 season, while the west suites were all refinished.
“I am humbled and blessed by the continued confidence our administration continues to show in our staff,” Freeze said. “I am grateful especially to Ross for his proactive leadership and steadfast support. I also appreciate the salary increases for our assistant coaches and support staff, who have worked extremely hard to build this program. My family loves Oxford and the Ole Miss family and are blessed by God to continue building this program and working with the young men that choose this great university.”
In the time since Freeze inherited a program coming off a two-win season and 14 straight Southeastern Conference losses, the Rebels have made four straight bowl appearances and won three of them. The team’s win total under Freeze has risen as consistently as possible – from seven in 2012 to eight in 2013, nine in 2014 to 10 this season.
Freeze is the first coach in school history to guide the Rebels to a bowl game in each of his first four seasons, including wins in the BBVA Compass, Music City and Sugar. Ole Miss is one of five programs in the country (along with Alabama, Florida State, Michigan State and Ohio State) to make consecutive “New Year’s Six” bowl appearances in the first two years of the College Football Playoff system.
Success on the field has been a direct result of the way Freeze runs his program – recruit elite football talent and treat the team like a family.
Freeze and his staff have collected three straight recruiting classes ranked among the top 15 in the nation and have another strong one on the way. The 2013 class was the Rebels’ highest-ranked in recorded history at No. 4 according to 247Sports.com.
A total of 85 players have earned their University of Mississippi degrees in the last four years. Freeze’s staff has brought stability to the program’s academic standing and has infused a high degree of character and brotherly love among the Rebels. Many players volunteer their time to community service projects in the Oxford area, and 19 players have participated in mission trips to Panama and Haiti over the last three spring breaks.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
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