Hugh Freeze 'Won't Even Entertain' South Carolina Rumors After Muschamp's Firing

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2020

Liberty Head Coach Hugh Freeze celebrates after they defeated the Virginia Tech in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 7 2020, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool)
MATT GENTRY/Associated Press

Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze said he wasn't interested in job openings such as the one at South Carolina after Will Muschamp was fired last weekend.

"I won't even entertain things of that nature at this point," Freeze told ESPN College GameDay's Gene Wojciechowski. "I'm at total peace with staying here, as long as they'll have me."

Freeze didn't dismiss the idea of returning to a Power Five program, however. 

"There's always that itch," he said. "Like man, I want to prove it, I want to go do it and I want to do it in that biggest arena that I can. So, yeah, I'm made that way."

Liberty is trying to keep him around, however, signing him last week to a contract extension through 2026. While terms of the extension weren't announced, ESPN's Chris Low reported "the deal would place Freeze among the top five highest-paid non-Power Five head coaches in college football—which would mean his average salary would be $3 million-plus per year."

"All aspects of our program are on the rise under Hugh's leadership, and we are putting the infrastructure in place to make this one of the top Group of 5 programs in the country," Liberty athletic director Ian McCaw said Nov. 11.

Freeze is in his second season at Liberty, leading the school to an 8-0 record and No. 21 ranking heading into Saturday.

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His last job did not end well, however, as Freeze resigned at Ole Miss ahead of the 2017 campaign after "school officials found a pattern that included phone calls [from Freeze's university-issued cellphone] to a number associated with a female escort service," per ESPN's Mark Schlabach.

Ole Miss committed a number of NCAA infractions under Freeze's watch (2012-16), and he was charged with failure to monitor his staff. The head coach called that and his resignation "rock bottom."

"That was as low as it gets professionally," he said. "To lose what your name stands for and to know you caused it is not easy."