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Auburn football coach Hugh Freeze speaks during his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 29 2022 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics
Auburn football coach Hugh Freeze speaks during his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 29 2022 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Opinion: Hiring Hugh Freeze was the Right Move for Auburn

Auburn, AL: A new chapter in Auburn football is about to begin as Hugh Freeze became the 31st head football coach in school history. To say he was universally received and welcomed by the Auburn family would be a lie. Hugh Freeze has had quite the number of off field issues, mainly stemming from his time at Ole Miss from 2012 to 2016. However, much of the backlash he has received was from his twitter interactions with a woman who along with other women filed a lawsuit alleging Liberty discouraged the reporting of sexual assault.

At no time in this article will I say Hugh Freeze did nothing wrong, because that would not be truthful, but I will say that I believe in second chances and showing people grace. With that being said, I believe the hiring of Hugh Freeze was the right one for Auburn football.

Hugh Freeze checks every box that Auburn football needs. Someone with Power Five, or even better SEC experience, a coach who has been able to develop quarterbacks, something Auburn has lacked in recent years, and the ability to be able to recruit at a high level. Everywhere that Hugh Freeze has been he has had success. While most of his wins have been vacated from his time at Ole Miss, he is the only active SEC head coach with multiple victories over Nick Saban and Alabama. 

His success at Liberty should not be overlooked by any means. People may look at a G5 school like Liberty and brush his experience there to side, but I find that to be maybe his most significant sign he can help Auburn football. Liberty transitioned to the FBS in 2018 and Freeze took over in 2019. When Freeze took over, Liberty went 6-6 in 2018 in their first year at the FBS level. Freeze immediately helped the Flames improve, going 8-5 in his first season in Lynchburg and leading the Flames to their first ever bowl game. During his four years at Liberty, he would never finish a season a season with less than eight wins. 

The main reason I believe Hugh Freeze was the right hire for Auburn was Freeze knowing this was his last shot. After all he has endured in his personal and coaching life, this is his last shot at a power five job. This means he is going to do everything in his power to recruit top players to Auburn and win at any means necessary. He knows the people who disagreed with his hire will be chomping at the bit the first time he loses a game saying he is not the guy, which I believe will motivate him and the team, judging how most current players have come out to support the new guy on social media. 

 At the end of the day, now is the time to rally around the Auburn football program, not create more division between the Auburn family. Auburn football will always be more than one person. The players and staff need the support of the Auburn family more than ever. So, let’s give this guy a shot, Auburn family, because as Woodrow T. Wilson once said, “We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.”

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