Auburn formally introduces Hugh Freeze as head football coach
AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Auburn formally introduced its new head football coach Hugh Freeze Tuesday morning.
A big decision for the future of Auburn Football, Freeze spoke to reporters and the Auburn community on what becoming head coach of the Tigers means to him.
“Every job I’ve ever taken over has had some type of struggles prior to our arrival and we’ve been able to turn them fairly quick,” Freeze said. “I look forward to that challenge here with this great staff that we’re going to put together and these young men that are gonna buy in, but they have to buy in to chase in a standard and you have to set the standard.”
Freeze took a moment to recognize the 2022 season under interim coach Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, who went 2-2 while bringing renewed passion to the team and fanbase.
Freeze said watching Cadillac’s as the interim head coach was outstanding.
“Being in this profession, I know how hard it is to finish seasons. Even when you’re doing well, even when you’re bowl eligible, much less finishing a season playing with enthusiasm and passion, desire and excitement and having fun. Like what I witnessed when I turned on the Auburn football games. And, to me, it was a direct reflection of Cadillac and his leadership,” Freeze said.
Freeze added that he knew he would need Cadillac on his side. Cadillac has been named as the associate head coach of the Tigers.
Freeze said he anticipates his first year as being “heavy” in the transfer portal. When it comes to recruiting, he said it would take some time to look and see where things are at but that they would work to show students what Auburn has to offer.
“Just come and see, that will be our message,” Freeze added.
Freeze also thanked his supporters, including his children and his wife, whom he praised for being a “coaches’ wife.”
“I want to just say Jill is the most amazing woman that God ever created,” Freeze added, saying that the family has gone through some tough situations together and made it through.
“Some of the things we’ve gone through, and the toughness of my children, and the love that they have for their father is the most humbling thing that I’ve experienced,” Freeze said.
Freeze is no stranger to the SEC. He is a former offensive coordinator at Arkansas State and served as an assistant athletic director for external affairs at Ole Miss from 2005 until 2007 before becoming head coach in 2011. He resigned amid multiple misconduct allegations in 2017.
When asked about the allegations and if he believed he deserved a second chance to be a head coach.
“I let some people down and I’m sorry. I’ve spent the past six years working to earn back the trust from people and I thank Liberty for that chance,” Freeze said.
Freeze said he “fought like heck” to get to Auburn and he looks forward to the challenge of coaching at Auburn.
“I see this as one of the top 10 programs in the nation,” Freeze said, adding that from a visiting coach’s perspective, Auburn is one of the most difficult places to play.
Freeze replaces Bryan Harsin, who was fired on Oct. 31st midway through his second season with the Tigers.
“We need you,” Freeze added. “We need the fans. We need the Auburn Family. We need the staff, we need the players, we need everyone in this building that is involved in our program to buy into our core values to drive this train to get it where everyone wants to be.”
The Tigers ended the 2022 regular season with a 5-7 record.
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