Freeze's second chance at UT: 'Enough time has passed for an opportunity like this'

Freeze's second chance at UT: 'Enough time has passed for an opportunity like this'

Football

Freeze's second chance at UT: 'Enough time has passed for an opportunity like this'

KNOXVILLE – Jeremy Pruitt has met with former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze to discuss filling a vacancy on his coaching staff following offensive coordinator Tyson Helton becoming Western Kentucky’s head coach.

Freeze left Ole Miss in July 2017 after being fired for making calls on a university phone to an escort service which led to NCAA troubles.

The former Ole Miss head coach had talks with possibly joining Alabama’s staff in the spring, but did not go through due to concerns from the SEC office.

In October, Freeze was named offensive coordinator of the Arizona Hotshots in the newly formed Alliance of American Football league. The AAF is set for their inaugural season in February.

Arizona quarterbacks coach Steve Axman discussed with Vols Wire of Freeze potentially taking another job and that he hopes to coach with him this season.

Thursday morning sources told Vols Wire that SEC commissioner Greg Sankey would clear Freeze to join a coaching staff in the SEC if he was given the opportunity.

Parrish Alford of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal has covered Ole Miss since 2002 while Freeze served as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator (2006-07) and head coach from 2012-16.

Alford discussed Freeze’s potential opportunity of coaching back in the SEC at Tennessee with Vols Wire.

“I think it is a great opportunity for Hugh,” Alford said of Freeze and Tennessee. “I think the college game is where he wants to be and I do not think the AAF is where he wants to be. I did not think he would stop looking for jobs once he had that one in Arizona. The college game is where he wants to be and I never really thought he would coach a down in that league.

“Enough time has passed for an opportunity like this. We see second chances in college football all the time and a period of time is going to pass and people are going to remember the things he accomplished at Ole Miss, which were quite impressive.”

As of late, Freeze has returned to the public eye since leaving Ole Miss. His public outings have been throughout Memphis.

Alford says “he has started feeling better in doing public appearances as of late.”

Memphis is an area that Freeze knows well after serving as a coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Shelby County, Tenn., from 1992-2004.

Since Pruitt’s arrival at UT, he has spoken highly of the high school talent in Memphis in being the best in Tennessee. Pruitt could benefit with Freeze on staff by recruiting the Memphis area and would also allow for the former Ole Miss head coach to transition back onto the recruiting trail and rebranding his image.

“He has ties there, he has friends there, he knows people in Memphis, he is well known,” Alford said. “I would think that you could go back to a place like that when you are trying to rehabilitate and trying to get back on your feet.

“It would seem to me that you could go back to a place where you know people and have friends a little quicker than other places. I can see where you can arrive at that conclusion if you are Jeremy Pruitt since he is certainly connected in Memphis.”

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