AUBURN, Ala. – Newly appointed Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze was formally introduced Tuesday morning by athletic director John Cohen. In a move that marks the end of interim head coach Carnell “Cadillac” Williams role in the position, Freeze expressed thankfulness while adding that Williams has done an “incredible job.”
During Cohen’s opening statement he thanked Williams for the work he has done over the past month, which was greeted by a standing ovation. Many Auburn supporters were calling for Williams’ name to be mentioned in the head coaching search, while others were completely against it, citing the lack of experience he has. Ultimately, we do not know if he was ever considered for the position and quite possibly will never know. However, it was made clear that Williams still has a place at Auburn.
“My first priority was I have to have Cadillac along my side,” Freeze said in his opening statement Tuesday morning.
Freeze will retain Williams on his staff while adding the title of associate head coach. An official announcement of the move was made by Auburn, which included a statement from Williams, shortly before the introductory press conference.
"It has always been my desire to stay at Auburn," Williams wrote. "Last night, I was able to meet with coach Freeze where he shared his core values and vision for the football program and young men he will be coaching. He is a man of faith and we share many of the same values when it comes to coaching.
The newly promoted associate head coach filled in as interim head coach after Bryan Harsin’s dismissal October 31 after Auburn’s loss against Arkansas. Williams would go onto lead the Tigers to a 2-2 record while giving hope to the Auburn faithful with his leadership on and off the field.
"I am excited about his vision and plan for getting Auburn back to its winning ways, including winning championships! Coach Freeze asked me to stay and join his staff as associate head coach. I accepted the position and am excited about working with him and learning from him,” Williams said. I ask that the Auburn family join me in supporting Coach Freeze and getting Auburn football back on the winning track!”
Williams makes up the first piece of Freeze’s staff, with the rest expected to be announced sooner, rather than later. The pair now face the tall task in restoring the Auburn program to where it once was.
The former Auburn running back will now work under his third different coach in four years. Williams was originally hired on as running backs coach under Gus Malzahn, whom he coached under for two seasons before Harsin was appointed after the 2020 season. He would remain in that role until taking up the title of interim head coach after the dismissal of Harsin this past season.