Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze introduced as the next head coach at Liberty

Hugh Freeze is back in the coaching game. 

The former coach at Ole Miss was announced as the new coach of the Flames during a press conference Tuesday. The news was first reported by Football Scoop and later confirmed by CBS Sports.

The 49-year-old was 39-25 in five years with the Rebels (2012-16) and led them to four straight bowl games at the start of his tenure, including two New Year's Six games (2014 Peach and 2015 Sugar). The Sugar Bowl win over Oklahoma State at the end of the 2015 polished off the program's first double-digit win season since 2003.

He led the Rebels to success on the field, but his program was full of controversy off of it. An NCAA investigation into the program uncovered multiple infractions within the football program. The prolonged investigation eventually led Ole Miss to self-impose a bowl ban in 2017. The NCAA tacked on another bowl ban for this season despite the 5-7 Rebels not qualifying for one.

The NCAA investigation drew headlines, but it wasn't the reason Freeze was let go in July 2017. Freedom of Information Act requests uncovered a pattern of inappropriate telephone calls from his school-issued cell phone to escort services. 

"It's an unbelievable day," Freeze said at his press conference. "I've sat out of football for the better part of two years, and it has given me time to reflect on the core values to which, when I adhered to them, followed great blessing. It has also given me time, when I did not adhere to them, to learn what discipline looks like. I've learned from that through grace and love of people."

Freeze takes over Liberty after Turner Gill retired from his post last month. Gill was 47-35 in seven years with the Flames including a 6-6 record in 2018 -- the program's first in FBS. 

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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