Report: Hugh Freeze informs Liberty he's in conversations for open Auburn job
After news broke that Lane Kiffin is staying at Ole Miss, attention turned to Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze as Auburn’s top coaching target. It sounds like the Flames are preparing for his departure.
The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported Freeze has told officials at Liberty about his conversations with Auburn but hasn’t said if he’s leaving yet. However, the university is gearing up to search for his replacement if he decides to leave.
McMurphy broke the news during the fourth quarter of Liberty’s game against New Mexico State on Saturday. The Flames were trailing 42-7 at the time.
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Kiffin appeared to be the top candidate to replace Bryan Harsin, but he told his team he’s planning to stay and sign a contract extension, according to ESPN’s Chris Low. That meant Auburn turned its attention to Freeze, who last coached in the SEC with Ole Miss from 2012-16 before taking over at Liberty in 2019.
During his time with the Flames, Freeze has totaled a 34-14 record while leading the program to bowl eligibility every year. His tenure at Ole Miss ended with his resignation after the program allegedly committed multiple recruiting violations.
More on Hugh Freeze as a candidate at Auburn
It’s becoming increasingly likely that Lane Kiffin won’t be the next head coach at Auburn. Instead, Hugh Freeze has emerged the favorite and the Tigers are expected to offer him a contract in the days following the Iron Bowl, per report.
“Auburn has been in discussion with Hugh Freeze for weeks about him becoming Auburn’s next coach. They won’t make a formal offer until after the Iron Bowl, but they’ve informally discussed contract and numbers with him for more than week,” ESPN’s Pete Thamel tweeted Saturday morning.
Freeze, the current head coach of Liberty, has had major success in the SEC during his coaching career. Formerly the head coach at Ole Miss from 2012-2016, Freeze led the Rebels to back-to-back wins over Alabama during his tenure. In 2016 he led the Rebels to its first top-10 finish (No. 9) to a season since 1969.