So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
In his first public speaking appearance since leaving Ole Miss in disgrace, former Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze told a crowd of students Wednesday at Liberty University that he has found “a total new appreciation for integrity” during his time away from the coaching profession. The university wrote in a feature that appeared on its website that “Freeze used the acronym ‘FILM’ (faith, integrity, love, and mental toughness) to illustrate how to reconcile failures” to those in the audience.
Freeze “resigned” from Ole Miss in July of last year after it was discovered he was using a school-issued cell phone to hook up with escort services on multiple occasions. Additionally, there were the Rebels’ NCAA issues while Freeze was in charge that left the coach with a two-game suspension to serve if he’s a head coach.
“God is good, even in difficult times. Wonderful wife and family, and that’s my priority,” Freeze said in very brief comments a week after he left the Rebels. Wednesday, Freeze addressed receiving forgiveness from the ones he hurt, including his wife Jill, who was in attendance for the speech.
“I had to say to people that I loved, ‘I am sorry, please forgive me,” Freeze said according to ESPN.com. “And today is really the first day I can tell the faith family, ‘I am sorry, please forgive me.'”
“I cannot control what people say, what people think, nor can you,” Freeze continued in quotes distributed by the university. “But I can make up my mind and my mind is set. It is settled, my eyes are clear. My heart is full. My feet are pointed forward and I am looking forward with thanksgiving to what God has for me and my family next because of His great love and His great forgiveness and you can do the same in 2018.”
The coach’s wife spoke as well, praising a man she has known for more than a quarter of a century.
“This man is the godliest man I have ever known,” Jill Freeze stated. “I am who I am in Christ because of this man and the impact and influence he has had on me. I know this man, and I know his heart. I know he loves God, and I know he’s going to do what it takes to get right with God.”
Freeze hasn’t worked as a coach since his resignation. It was reported earlier this month that Nick Saban was interested in bringing Freeze onto his staff at Alabama, but some in the football program were pushing back against adding the coach while the SEC may have also had an issue with such a hire.
Saban was asked Wednesday about the possibility of bringing in the offensive-minded coach, with the Crimson Tide head coach only allowing that “Freeze is a really good coach, so we’ll keep evaluating and trying to make our staff as strong as we can make it.”