Liberty hires ex-Ole Miss coach who resigned following escort scandal

Liberty hires ex-Ole Miss coach who resigned following escort scandal
(Source: Liberty Flames Football/Facebook)

LYNCHBURG, VA (WWBT) - Liberty University has hired former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze to lead its football team, the News & Advance confirmed Friday.

Freeze indirectly confirmed his hiring on Twitter.

Freeze resigned from the Rebels in the summer of 2017 after he was found to be using a university-issued cell phone to contact phone numbers associated with escort services.

A call to the number from 2016 came to light and was attributed to being dialed accidentally. The university investigated and uncovered what it called a “disturbing pattern.”

Freeze chose to resign rather than be fired for violating a morals clause in his contract.

Turner Gill retired from leading the Flames after six seasons

Freeze appeared to address the scandal on Twitter posting Friday, “the taste of dirt teaches us to savor the taste of sugar.”

Freeze spoke at a Liberty convocation earlier this year where he spoke about his Christian faith and how it helped him since the scandal came to light.

“Failures are not final,” Freeze is quoted as saying by the university. “My heart is full. My feet are pointed forward and I am looking forward with thanksgiving to what God has for me.”

Under Freeze’s leadership, Ole Miss made bowl game appearance for four consecutive years but was penalized for NCAA violation and banned from postseason play for a year.

Freeze had been linked to several high-profile jobs since leaving Ole Miss, mostly as an offensive coordinator.

Prior to coaching at Ole Miss, Freeze was known for being the high school coach of Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher, who was the subject of the movie “The Blind Side.”

He coached Arkansas State before being hired by Ole Miss.

His career record as a head coach is 69-32.

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