Return to the SEC West? Auburn reportedly contacts Hugh Freeze
Could a former SEC head coach be returning to the conference to lead Auburn? Things may be trending in that direction.
According to Brandon Marcello of 247Sports.com, Auburn reached out to Liberty head coach Huge Freeze on Tuesday about its opening. Freeze is finishing his second season with the Flames, after he previously served as the head coach at Ole Miss from 2012-16.
Marcello also reported that it’s “not yet clear” whether Auburn has set up an interview with Freeze, who it initially wasn’t considering for the job. However, various candidates have reportedly turned down the position or are no longer in the running, so the Tigers appear to be pivoting.
Marcello later tweeted that Freeze would be a “hard sell for several powerful people at Auburn, especially president Jay Gogue.” Auburn has an eight-person committee that is in charge of finding its next head coach after the school fired Gus Malzahn at the end of the regular season.
Freeze has had success at Liberty. In 2019, the Flames went 8-5 and beat Georgia Southern in the Cure Bowl. This season, they’re again headed to the Cure Bowl to play Coastal Carolina after going 9-1 during the regular season.
During his five seasons at Ole Miss, Freeze led the Rebels to a 39-25 record. However, his time there didn’t end well, as Ole Miss dealt with the fallout of several NCAA recruiting violations. There were also reports of Freeze using his work phone to call escort services multiple times, which led to his resignation.
Last week, Freeze discussed whether he would have interest in the Auburn opening during his weekly press conference. And he appeared to indicate that the Tigers hadn’t reached out, while also expressing how much he’s enjoying his time at Liberty.
“I’m not saying the other places that have come open, I don’t know if their heart flutters about me, that’s not for me to say, but to this point, nothing has made my heart flutter more than just staying on the mountain and building this program,” Freeze told the media.
It will be interesting to see how this situation continues to develop and whether Freeze could be on his way back to the SEC.