A Mississippi native, inspirational leader and one of the nation’s top rising coaches, Hugh Freeze was the first choice to return championships to Ole Miss Football and was introduced as the Rebels’ 37th head coach on December 5, 2011.
He certainly is off to a good start.
Inheriting a team that won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight Southeastern Conference games, Freeze led Ole Miss to seven wins in 2012, including three SEC victories, and the team’s first bowl berth since 2009.
A month after the Rebels capped the season with a 38-17 win over Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl, Ole Miss was the talk of National Signing Day when Freeze and Co. landed a consensus top-10 class that was ranked as high as No. 2 by 247Sports and No. 5 by ESPN- the highest recorded signing class rankings in school history.
Freeze is the sixth head coach in program history to direct his team to a bowl appearance in his first season. The Rebels’ seven wins could have been even more had they not lost three tight SEC games (Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, at LSU) by a combined 10 points.
The Rebel offense saw a dramatic turnaround under Freeze in 2012. With many of the same players, he took a team that had ranked at or near the bottom of the SEC in 2011 to rank top five in the league and top 50 in the nation in scoring, total offense and passing.