Freeze sa­vors 2nd chance at Lib­erty

Houston Chronicle - - COLLEGES -

LYNCH­BURG, Va. — Hugh Freeze has en­joyed the highs of foot­ball, such as win­ning the Su­gar Bowl and beat­ing mighty Alabama. He also has known em­bar­rass­ment and shame af­ter a per­sonal scan­dal that cost him his job at Mis­sis­sippi.

Freeze, 49, be­lieves those ex­pe­ri­ences will serve him well as the head coach at Lib­erty, where he has been given a sec­ond chance.

“I be­lieve in teach­ing young men on our team all of the lessons of when I got it right and when I got it wrong and what the con­se­quences are,” Freeze said.

He was in­tro­duced as Lib­erty’s foot­ball coach Fri­day, call­ing the op­por­tu­nity an “un­be­liev­able day for me and my fam­ily.” He was emo­tional at times dur­ing a news con­fer­ence.

“I’ve made de­ci­sions that have hurt a lot of peo­ple,” Freeze said. “I don’t ever want to ex­pe­ri­ence that again.”

Freeze will re­place Turner Gill, who re­signed af­ter his sev­enth sea­son to spend more time with his ail­ing wife. The Flames fin­ished 6-6 this sea­son, their first com­pet­ing at the Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion level, and were 47-35 un­der Gill.

Lib­erty will have full sta­tus for Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion el­i­gi­bil­ity in 2019. The Flames are not part of a con­fer­ence and are play­ing as an in­de­pen­dent.

Freeze spent five years at Mis­sis­sippi and led the Rebels to a 39-25 record and four bowl games. He re­signed in the sum­mer of 2017 amid a scan­dal in which school of­fi­cials dis­cov­ered a “pat­tern of per­sonal mis­con­duct” start­ing with a call to an es­cort ser­vice from a univer­sity-is­sued cell­phone. The school also was mired in an NCAA rules in­ves­ti­ga­tion dur­ing much of his ten­ure that even­tu­ally re­sulted in a two-year post­sea­son ban.

Lit­trell to say at North Texas

Seth Lit­trell de­cided to re­main at North Texas af­ter Kansas State ex­pressed in­ter­est in him to re­place Bill Sny­der.

Lit­trell told his play­ers in a meet­ing that he would not be leav­ing for the Wild­cats. It ended a courtship in which Lit­trell met with Kansas State of­fi­cials sev­eral times this week. North Texas will face Utah State in the New Mex­ico Bowl next week.

Sny­der re­tired last week­end af­ter 27 sea­sons with the Wild­cats.

Odds and ends

Ge­or­gia Tech hired Tem­ple coach Ge­off Collins to re­place Paul Johnson as the Yel­low Jack­ets’ coach. Collins, 47, is a for­mer Florida and Mis­sis­sippi State de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and Ge­or­gia Tech as­sis­tant who was 15-10 in two sea­sons at Tem­ple. Be­fore his time at Florida (2015-16) and Mis­sis­sippi State (2011-14), Collins was a grad­u­ate as­sis­tant and tight ends coach for the Yel­low Jack­ets un­der Ge­orge O’Leary from 1999-2001. He re­turned to serve as re­cruit­ing co­or­di­na­tor un­der coach Chan Gai­ley in 2006. … Kansas run­ning back Pooka Wil­liams was sus­pended from the team af­ter his ar­rest on sus­pi­cion of do­mes­tic bat­tery. Wil­liams, whose name is An­thony Ray Wil­liams, was ar­rested Thurs­day at the univer­sity’s pub­lic safety of­fice. No fur­ther de­tails were im­me­di­ately avail­able. New coach Les Miles said Wil­liams has been sus­pended from all team ac­tiv­i­ties pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. … Ok­la­homa quar­ter­back Kyler Mur­ray is the unan­i­mous pick for the As­so­ci­ated Press Big 12 of­fen­sive player of the year. Mur­ray was one of a league-high six first-team picks from OU on the All-Big 12 team.

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