Hugh Freeze

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Hugh Freeze
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Mississippi
Conference SEC
Record 18–11
Biographical details
Born (1969-09-27) September 27, 1969 (age 44)
Oxford, Mississippi
Alma mater Southern Mississippi
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Briarcrest HS (TN) (OC/DB)
Briarcrest HS (TN)
Mississippi (TE/RC)
Arkansas State (OC)
Arkansas State
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2005 Ole Miss (asst. AD)
Head coaching record
Overall 48–18 (college)
Bowls 2–0
Tournaments 1–1 (NAIA playoffs)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
1 Sun Belt (2011)
1 Mid-South Conference West Division (2009)
2 Tennessee HS 8-AA (2002, 2004)
6 Tennessee HS 8-AA Regional (1995–1998, 2001, 2002)
AFCA Southeast Region COY (2009)
Mid-South Conference COY (2009)
5× Region 8-AA COY

Danny Hugh Freeze Jr.[1] (born September 27, 1969) is an American football coach. He is currently the head coach at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), a position he assumed in December 2011. Freeze served as the head football coach at Lambuth University from 2008 to 2009 and at Arkansas State University in 2011. He was previously a successful high school football coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee, and was depicted in the motion picture The Blind Side as the character "Coach Cotton".

Early life[edit]

Freeze attended Senatobia High School and the University of Southern Mississippi, from which he graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a minor in coaching and sports administration.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Briarcrest Christian School[edit]

In 1992, Freeze joined the coaching staff at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee as the football team's offensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. In 1995, he was promoted to head coach. Freeze ran the no huddle spread offense and led his team to the state championship twice, in 2002 and 2004, and the regional championship each year from 1995 to 1998 and in 2001 and 2002. He received Region 8-AA Coach of the Year honors five times and Associated Press Coach of the Year honors six times.[2] In ten years at Briacrest, Freeze was 94–30 as head coach (.785 winning percentage) and 126–37 overall.[3] Freeze was depicted in the book and motion picture The Blind Side, about one of his former players, current Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Michael Oher.[4]

Ole Miss[edit]

In 2005, the University of Mississippi hired Freeze as an assistant athletic director for football external affairs. The following season, he became the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, positions he held through 2007.[2] After that season, he replaced head coach Ed Orgeron on an interim basis before the hiring of Houston Nutt.[2] Freeze interviewed for the offensive coordinator position with Nutt,[5] a position that eventually went to Kent Austin.


In January 2008, Lambuth University, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), named Freeze its head coach.[6] In 2008, He led the Lambuth to an 8–4 record and a first round loss in the NAIA playoffs, marking their first appearance in the playoffs since 2004 under then head coach Vic Wallace. He was considered for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's head coaching position following the 2008, but remained there for another season and compiled a 20–5 overall record, and defeating opponents 41–17 on average. In 2009, he led the Eagles to their best regular season record in school history with an unblemished 11–0 mark. Lambuth advanced to the second round of the NAIA playoffs for first time in 11 years—having won one game before suffering elimination to finish 12–1 as the sixth-ranked team in the NAIA.[2]

Arkansas State[edit]

In 2010, he joined the staff at Arkansas State as offensive coordinator after a brief stint as offensive coordinator at San Jose State University under Mike MacIntyre. The Red Wolves finished with a 4–8 record, but their offensive rankings jumped from 95th in total offense and 90th in scoring offense in the NCAA Division I FBS to 43rd and 46th, respectively. The Red Wolves' offense broke nine school records including total plays (856), first downs (262), pass attempts (438), pass completions (266), completion percentage (.607), passing yards (3,057), passing yards per game (254.8) and passing touchdowns (23). The Red Wolves' offense averaged 403.4 yards per game, eclipsing over 300 yards all 12 times it took the field for the first time in the history of the program. A-State posted at least 400 yards of total offense in seven games during the 2010 campaign, the most ever as an NCAA FBS member, all in his first year as offensive coordinator. After the season, Freeze was promoted to replace head coach Steve Roberts.[7]

In 2011, his only season as head coach at Arkansas State, he led the Red Wolves to a 10–2 record and their first Sun Belt Conference title since 2005. The Red Wolves' offense averaged 447.8 ypg (28th nationally, 1st in Sun Belt Conference) including 293.6 ypg passing and 154.2 ypg rushing.[8] Freeze left Arkansas State before the Bowl following the season.

Ole Miss[edit]

On December 5, 2011, Freeze was announced as the new head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels football team. He is the 37th head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. During the press conference to introduce Freeze as the head coach, he stated that he wanted to "retire at Ole Miss." He was signed to a four-year contract with an annual salary of $1.5 million plus incentives up to $2.5 million.[9]

In his first season at Ole Miss, Freeze led the Rebels to a 6–6 record in the regular season, making Ole Miss bowl eligible for the first time since 2009 with a 41–24 victory over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. His Rebels accepted a bid to play in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 5, 2013. They beat the University of Pittsburgh 38–17 to finish 7–6.

Freeze received national attention on National Signing Day 2013 as Ole Miss brought in the fifth ranked recruiting class in the country.[10]

Freeze won the 2014 FCA Coach of the year award

Personal life[edit]

Freeze was born in Oxford, Mississippi and grew up in Independence, Mississippi. He has three daughters with his wife, Jill.[2]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Lambuth Eagles (Mid-South Conference) (2008–2009)
2008 Lambuth 8–4 4–1 T–1st (West)
2009 Lambuth 12–1 6–0 1st (West) L NAIA Quarterfinals
Lambuth: 20–5 10–1
Arkansas State Red Wolves (Sun Belt Conference) (2011)
2011 Arkansas State 10–2 8–0 1st*
Arkansas State: 10–2 8–0 * Departed Arkansas State for Ole Miss before bowl game
Ole Miss Rebels (Southeastern Conference) (2012–present)
2012 Ole Miss 7–6 3–5 5th (West) W BBVA Compass
2013 Ole Miss 8–5 3–5 T–5th (West) W Music City
2014 Ole Miss 3–0 1–0 (West)
Ole Miss: 18–11 7–10
Total: 48–18
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ "Nicholls coaching search nets 42 applicants". Houma Today. December 24, 2009. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hugh Freeze Bio, Arkansas State University, retrieved December 16, 2010.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Oher's HS Coach Gets Top Job at Arkansas State, NBC Sports, December 2, 2010.
  5. ^ "Nutt Has Long List for New OC". January 9, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ Hugh Freeze Named Lambuth University Head Football Coach, Lambuth University, January 19, 2008.
  7. ^ Hugh Freeze hired at Arkansas St., ESPN, December 2, 2010.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Hugh Freeze is Rebels' new coach". Associated Press. December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ "2013 Football Class Rankings". Retrieved December 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]