New Auburn Head Coach Hugh Freeze Calls Out Nick Saban

Getty Auburn's new head coach, Hugh Freeze, called out Nick Saban during his introductory press conference on November 29

New Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze made sure Nick Saban knew what his new Iron Bowl counterpart is all about in his new role — calling out the Alabama head coach during the Tigers’ introductory press conference on November 29.

Freeze, while admitting he was a friend of Nick and Terry Saban, shared what he hoped the Crimson Tide coach is feeling with the former Liberty Flames and Ole Miss Rebels head coach now on the Plains.

“Well, you don’t take this job if you’re not built to want that,” Freeze said. “And I welcome that, I want it. I want to be in that arena. I really, really, really enjoy that type of game. have great respect for Nick. He and Mrs. Terry have been great friends to us too, but I hope they’re a little nervous today.”

Nick Saban is Just 3-2 Against Hugh Freeze in His Career

Nick Saban owns a winning record against just about every head coach he has ever faced during his Alabama, with Les Miles and the seven-time national champion head coach having a 3-3 tie in their series.

With that said, Saban owns just a 3-2 record against Auburn’s new play-caller during the Hugh Freeze era at Ole Miss. He is just one of three head coaches to notch consecutive victories against Saban during his time in Tuscaloosa, joining long-time Florida Gators and South Carolina coaching great Steve Spurrier and Miles being the other two.

In 2014 and 2015, Freeze-coached Rebels teams knocked off No. 3 and No. 2-ranked Alabama teams, respectively. Bo Wallace, who Freeze coached at Arkansas State, and Chad Kelly, who became “Mr. Irrelevant” in the 2017 NFL draft, were the starting quarterbacks during those wins.

Hugh Freeze Wasn’t a Universally Praised Hire

Many felt that Auburn hiring Hugh Freeze qualified as “JABA,” or “Just Auburn Being Auburn,” a derogatory term that is rooted in Auburn University’s often controversial methods when vetting and hiring their head football coach. Freeze was forced to resign from his Ole Miss head coaching position after his tenure was found to have both recruiting violations and illegal solicitations of prostitutes while using a university phone. Freeze was also outed for contacting a rape victim at Liberty regarding a tweet she posted about Liberty athletics director Ian McCaw. Chelsea Andrews, the former student in question, shared a screenshot of their conversation on social media.

Freeze addressed his complicated past during his introductory press conference on November 26 while being unveiled as the third Auburn Tigers coach since the 2020 season. “I let some people down, and I’m sorry,” Freeze said. “I’ve spent the past six years working to earn back the trust of people, and I thank Liberty for that chance. I don’t know anybody in this room that doesn’t deserve a second chance, and truthfully if everyone’s life was as documented as mine, I’m sure it would be uncomfortable.”

He tearfully spoke of the forgiveness his family showed him. “Jill is the most amazing woman that God ever created, and I have the most beautiful daughters and sons-in-law,” Freeze said.