Hugh Freeze has turned around Ole Miss.
Now, he’ll look to lead the Rebels to one of their biggest wins in school history when they host Alabama Saturday.
Inheriting a team that won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight Southeastern Conference games, Freeze has led Ole Miss to 15 wins in his first two years, including six SEC victories, and two bowl wins.
Here’s what you need to know about him.
1. He Turned Ole Miss Around
Freeze was announced as the 37th Ole Miss coach in December 2011. During his introductory press conference, Freeze said he wanted to “retire at Ole Miss.”
In his first season, Ole Miss went 6-6, making the Rebels bowl eligible for the first time since 2009. Now, Ole Miss is one of the top teams in the SEC and the country.
Freeze is also respected as one of the top recruiters in college football, as he brought in the fifth-ranked recruiting class in the country in 2013.
He also won the 2014 FCA Coach of the Year Award.
2. Freeze Had Record-Setting Run at Arkansas State.
Before Freeze led the Rebels, he was head coach at Arkansas State. Under his leadership in 2011, the Red Wolves captured the Sun Belt Conference championship and became just the third school in Sun Belt history to finish undefeated in league play with a perfect 8-0 mark. The 10-2 overall record marked the program’s first 10-win season since 1986.
3.He’s Active in Mission Projects
Freeze is active in mission projects, and has served as a missionary in Houston, Salt Lake City, St. Petersburg, Russia and Australia.
He became active in mission projects when he attended the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in coaching and sports administration.
4. He Was Depicted in The Blind Side
Freeze was depicted in the book and motion picture The Blind Side, about one of his former players, Michael Oher, as Oher’s high school coach. Freeze was Oher’s high school coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis.
Freeze made a cameo appearance in the movie as an assistant of Houston Nutt.
After Oher graduated from Briarcrest, he played football for Ole Miss before being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. The offensive tackle currently plays for the Tennessee Titans.
While at Briarcrest, Freeze led his team to the state championship twice, in 2002 and 2004 while posting a 94-30 record as head coach.
5. He Has a Wife and Three Daughters
Freeze and his wife, Jill, have three daughters, Ragan (15), Jordan (14) and Madison (11). He was born in Oxford and raised in Independence, Mississippi.