augusta free press news

Liberty announces extension for Hugh Freeze: It won’t stave off the inevitable

hugh freeze
Hugh Freeze. Photo courtesy Liberty Athletics.

With Liberty at 7-0 and ranked 22nd in both national polls, it’s looking like second-year coach Hugh Freeze – he of SEC pedigree – might not be long for Lynchburg.

Liberty Athletics and Freeze are trying to make us think otherwise.

The school announced Wednesday that it has extended its contract with Freeze through 2026.

Details on how much money this involves was not included in the announcement; nor were terms related to a possible buyout, should Freeze seek outside opportunities.

South Carolina, Vanderbilt and half the SEC West will be gunning for a new coach in a few weeks, and Freeze had success at Ole Miss – going 39-25 in five seasons there, before resigning in 2016 at the height of scandal that included recruiting and academic violations and a personal-conduct issue involving calls from his university-issued cell phone to a female escort service.

Liberty was viewed as his penance, and things are working out well for him so far. His first team, in 2019, finished 8-5 with a 23-16 win over Georgia Southern in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl.

And now his Flames are 7-0 in 2020, with a win at Virginia Tech this past weekend easily the biggest victory in program history.

Today’s announcement included quotes from everybody important saying all the right things.

“We are proud of Coach Freeze and the football program,” Liberty President Jerry Prevo said. “This contract extension demonstrates my commitment and support of him and our program. Dr. Falwell’s vision was for Liberty to compete at the highest level of college football and Coach Freeze is making great strides towards realizing the vision.”

“Coach Freeze is a wonderful blessing to Liberty, and we are grateful for his outstanding leadership of our football program and mentorship of our football student-athletes,” Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said. “All aspects of the program are on the rise including on field performance, academics, recruiting and operations.”

Even Freeze himself got in on the happy act.

“I am thankful for the strong commitment and support from President Prevo and our leadership and look forward to continuing to build this program. Our family, along with the coaching staff, support personnel and players are grateful to have the opportunity to represent this university,” Freeze said.

The SEC will soon be calling.

Story by Chris Graham