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#pounditThursday, February 9, 2023

Auburn closing in on head coaching hire

Hugh Freeze at a press conference

Jul 13, 2017; Hoover, AL, USA; Ole Miss Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze speaks to media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Winfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The Auburn Tigers appear to be zeroing in on a new head coach, with an announcement possible by the end of the weekend.

Multiple reports Saturday indicated that Auburn is poised to hire Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze. ESPN’s Pete Thamel said on “College GameDay” that Lane Kiffin’s candidacy is “over” and Freeze is the heavy favorite for the job.

Ross Dellenger of SINow added that an announcement of the Freeze hire could come as soon as Saturday evening.

Kiffin seemed to be the favorite for the Auburn job throughout much of the process, but he consistently denied that he planned to leave. We do not know what ultimately swung the search against him, but it does appear he was a factor as recently as yesterday.

Freeze appears poised to get another shot at an SEC job after his Ole Miss tenure ended in scandal. There have even been rumblings that the SEC would prefer not to see Freeze return, but the Tigers do not appear put off by that.

Freeze went 39-25 at Ole Miss, though 27 of those wins were later vacated due to academic and recruiting violations. He has since rebuilt his career at Liberty, where he is 34-14 over four seasons.

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