After nearly a year and a half away, Hugh Freeze is back — albeit at an entirely different level of football.
The Arizona Hotshots, one of the teams in the new Alliance of American Football, a pro league that will begin play in February of next year, announced that Freeze has by hired as the team’s new offensive coordinator. This marks Freeze’s first coaching job since his disgraceful exit from Oxford.
Freeze “resigned” from Ole Miss in July of 2017 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 as well as a one-year show-cause. Freeze never served either penalty as they were levied after Freeze’s resignation.
It was reported in January of this year that Nick Saban had been “really pushing” to add Freeze to his Alabama coaching staff, but that the SEC was highly reluctant to sign off on it. In mid-April, a report surfaced that the conference had essentially blocked member schools, including Crimson Tide, from adding Freeze. At the time, Saban spoke of the respect he has for both Freeze and the SEC while seemingly confirming that the league did indeed coach-block a hire due “to circumstances that people created for themselves.”
In his first public speaking appearance since his resignation, Freeze told a crowd of students at Liberty University in January that he has found “a total new appreciation for integrity” during his time away from the coaching profession.
Freeze’s new boss with the AAF team is former UCLA, Washington and Colorado head coach Rick Neuheisel. In addition to Freeze’s hiring, the team also announced that former Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will serve in the same capacity with the Hotshots.