Ole Miss rewards Hugh Freeze with raise, contract extension

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Hugh Freeze received a raise and a contract extension at Ole Miss, but he’s still tied with Kentucky’s Mark Stoops for the lowest paid coach in the SEC.

After taking Ole Miss from the doldrums to the spotlight, was it imperative for the Rebels to reward Hugh Freeze’s unreal coaching job? He took a 2-10 roster and transformed them in a 6-6 team that very easily could have won nine games.

Freeze will be paid $2 million in base salary for 2013 season, which is a $500,000 increase from this year. His contract was extended another year, keeping with the four-year maximum contract allowed under Mississippi state law.

In addition, the pool of money paid to the assistant coaches has been raised by 10 percent, and a $12.5 million renovation of the indoor practice facility is now part of the Forward Together campaign.

AD Ross Bjork released a statement about Freeze’s raise.

“Coach Freeze and his staff quickly changed the culture and added the necessary confidence in our football program, and we look forward to seeing our rise among the SEC elite under his leadership. We all believe that coach Freeze is the perfect fit for Ole Miss, and we are just beginning to see the fruits of everyone’s hard work,” athletic director Ross Bjork said in a statement. “The facility enhancements are all about giving our coaches a greater platform to recruit from and our student-athletes the best tools to be successful. While we are proud of our current facilities, we cannot simply maintain or we fall behind. These enhancements will benefit our entire athletics program and place our football facilities among the finest in the nation.”

Freeze’s ’12 contract was based off $1.5 million base salary, but he received $100,000 incentives for every SEC win. And he notched three SEC wins, which gave him a little extra coin in his pocket.

Kentucky worked the same type of incentive-based contract for new head coach Mark Stoops.

However, let me remind you that Ole Miss gave Houston Nutt a contract extension and raise, too, after his first season in 2008 when the Rebels finished 8-4. What if Freeze’s first year was a fluke? Nutt had way more talent on his 8-4 team than Freeze has currently, though.

Do you think it’s more prudent to show some pattern of improvement over multiple years before coaches get a raise and an extension?

Photo Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • After the turnaround he brought us through, he deserves to be taken care of. I don’t see more raises coming without multiple successful years, but his first year definitely warranted this one.