augusta free press news

Liberty extends contract of football coach Hugh Freeze

Liberty Hugh Freeze
Liberty football coach Hugh Freeze hoists the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl trophy after the Flames’ 37-34 win over Coastal Carolina. Photo courtesy Liberty Athletics.

Liberty has extended the contract of football coach Hugh Freeze through 2028 for an insane amount of money, taking him off the lists of the various schools, including Virginia Tech, with openings.

The school announced the extension on Wednesday without citing a dollar figure. Sources told ESPN that the deal will be worth more than $4 million annually.

For context: Virginia is paying Bronco Mendenhall just over $4 million per year. Justin Fuente was making in that range at Virginia Tech. At programs raking in buckets of ESPN broadcast money – in the range of $17 million a year.

Liberty has competed in football as an independent, but will move to Conference USA in 2023.

Conference USA members bring in more like $400,000 to $500,000 a year from TV money.

Four million a year seems pretty steep when you have almost no chance of making that money back, but then, this isn’t about making money.

Liberty is using football to help build its image. Consider the $28 million that Liberty is committing to Freeze over the next seven years, then, a down payment on institutional relevance.

“We are grateful for Coach Freeze’s outstanding leadership of our football program and positive impact on our student-athletes,” Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said. “Liberty football continues to thrive, and we are excited that Coach Freeze will lead our transition into Conference USA.”

Freeze has put up a 25-10 record in three seasons in Lynchburg, including a 7-4 mark this year heading into the regular-season finale with Army.

Last year, Liberty posted a 10-1 record and finished No. 17 in the final Associate Press poll following a win over then-No. 9 Coastal Carolina in the FBS Mortgage Cure Bowl.

Story by Chris Graham