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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

Report: Hugh Freeze was never a serious candidate for Auburn job

Hugh Freeze

Hugh Freeze was arguably the biggest name linked to the Auburn head coaching job after Gus Malzahn was fired last week, but it turns out he was never actually considered for the position.

One report immediately after Malzahn was fired claimed Auburn’s search would be centered around Freeze. Freeze, who has coached at Liberty the past two seasons, has experience in the SEC after coaching at Ole Miss from 2012-2016. Despite that, John Talty of AL.com was told Freeze was never viewed as a legitimate candidate.

Talty provided a detailed recap of Auburn’s search. He was told by sources that an influential group of boosters pushed Malzahn out and demanded that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele be promoted, but athletic director Allen Greene stuck to his guns and assembled a search committee to interview multiple candidates.

Eventually, Auburn reached an agreement to hire Bryan Harsin away from Boise State. Harsin had only a $250,000 buyout, and Auburn believes he can help address the ongoing problem the Tigers have had with not being able to develop quarterbacks.

Freeze has now been linked to multiple prominent head coaching jobs, and it seems like only a matter of time before he is back with a Power Five school. He left Ole Miss following multiple recruiting violations and an escort scandal, but enough time has likely passed for a major program to take a chance on him.

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