On Tuesday, NBC’s College Football Talk reported that former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze visited Alabama’s football facilities, and today said that head coach Nick Saban is pushing to hire him to replace Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator. Understandably, there is some reluctance to bring Freeze back into the SEC- but is it really such a bad idea? I don’t think so. Before you call me crazy, hear me out.
Prior to taking over Ole Miss’s program in 2012, he was head coach at Lambuth for two seasons, where he went 8-4 and 12-1. He spent the 2011 season at Arkansas State, leading them to the GoDaddy.com Bowl before succeeding Houston Nutt as leader of the Rebels.
Freeze’s impact was immediate, as the Rebels went from winning just two games in 2011 to going 7-6 in 2012 and bringing home a bowl trophy. Ole Miss continued to rise, ranking in the top five in both 2014 and 2015. The program sent Robert Nkemdiche, Leremy Tunsil, and Evan Engram to the NFL, and Juco transfer Chad Kelly quickly became an SEC star under Freeze’s direction.*
Then came the NCAA investigation and allegations that Freeze had made some… unprofessional phone calls from his work phone. 2017 saw those allegations become sanctions, and in July, Freeze was officially fired as head coach of Ole Miss.
I think Freeze to Bama would be a good hire because when you look beyond the scandal, you see one thing: success. He knows how to win games (anyone else remember his victory over the Tide in 2015?) and looking at the players he sent to the NFL, it’s obvious that he knows how to develop talent.
As for what happened under his direction of Ole Miss’s program- it’s unacceptable. But I think we also have to remember that Ole Miss was Freeze’s first major head coaching job, and let’s be real: leading a college football program isn’t easy. There’s recruiting, game preparation, traveling, being away from your family, mentoring young men, trying to keep boosters happy…. it’s a lot. And when you do all of that and have the type of success Hugh Freeze had, is it so far fetched to say everything simply went to his head? Maybe it all just became too much, he saw himself as invincible, and thought he could overstep his boundaries and get away with it.
What I’m saying is this: Hugh Freeze is a human being who made a mistake. Granted, it was major and the whole world found out about it, but that’s all it was- a mistake. He deserves a second chance, and who better to give it to him than Nick Saban, who has mentored Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian? To me, the hire is a win-win situation: Freeze gets another shot, and Alabama gets a coach who can continue to lead their program to success.
Should Alabama hire Hugh Freeze? Let me know in the comments below!
*Statistics and facts taken from Ole Miss.com and