In just two seasons, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze has brought back respect to a once struggling football program.
So much so, that the school has agreed to both a contract extension and salary increase for Freeze and his staff, via OleMissSports.com:
With the team bowl bound for the second straight year, Ole Miss is continuing to invest in its football program by agreeing in principle to salary increases for head coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, as announced Tuesday by Athletics Director Ross Bjork.
After guiding the Rebels to a 7-5 regular season, Freeze’s contract has been extended by one year to the maximum four years, and his base salary will rise to $3 million and increase by $150,000 each year.
It’s a move that makes a whole lot of sense for Ole Miss.
Freeze has compiled a 14-11 record in just two seasons with the program. In comparison, the school was just 38-58 in the eight years prior to his arrival.
Furthermore, the 44-year-old has helped make significant improvements to the Rebels offense.
In 2011, the team finished No. 114 in the nation in total offense. Under Freeze, those numbers have jumped to No. 46 and No. 21 respectively over the last two years.
And who could forget his impact on recruiting?
According to 247sports.com, Freeze brought in the No. 4-ranked recruiting class in 2013. A class that was highlighted by top prospect Robert Nkemdiche.
Not to mention, the Rebels are set to make their second consecutive appearance in a bowl game. The team plays Georgia Tech in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Dec. 30.
How many wins will Freeze lead the Rebels to in 2014?
It’s been no secret that Freeze’s team has been competitive this season. In fact, four of Ole Miss' five losses come against ranked opponents.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of.
In fact, the team actually put together an impressive victory over then-No. 6 LSU, 27-24, back on Oct. 19. It's a win that could be seen as program-defining.
"Our confidence in Coach Freeze goes far beyond his progress on the field and in recruiting,” Chancellor Dan Jones said, via OleMissSports.com. “With the integrity with which he leads our football program, he has demonstrated he will win the right way. Our student athletes and our football program could not be in better hands.”
And if Freeze keeps it up, it won’t be long before wins like that against the Tigers become common practice.