Televangelist Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University hires football coach who resigned from his previous job at Ole Miss after an investigation found he routinely called escort services on his school-issued cellphone

  • The Christian college in Virginia has drawn up contracts to bring Hugh Freeze, 39, as its head football coach
  • Freeze resigned from Ole Miss in June 2017 after a university investigation uncovered a ‘pattern of personal misconduct’ by the married father-of-three
  • Ole Miss was also being investigated by the NCAA for rules violations at the time
  • Liberty officially announced the hire in a press conference on Friday afternoon
  • Freeze spoke at the conference and vaguely referenced the escort scandal, saying that he’s spent the last 18 months reflecting on his mistakes
  • ‘My wife of 27 years would tell you I’ve inconvenienced her many times in our marriage,’ he said
  • Freeze also said the program’s number one ‘core value’ will be faith 
  • He explained: ‘Faith for me is believing in the son of God, Jesus Christ. He’s the only one I’ve ever met who can handle my junk’

Megan Sheets For Dailymail.com

Liberty University has hired a new football coach whose values may not be in line with the school’s founder, Southern Baptist pastor and televangelist Jerry Falwell. 

Reports broke Friday morning that the Christian college in Virginia has drawn up contracts with Hugh Freeze, who resigned from his previous coaching job at Ole Miss last year after an investigation found that he’d used his school-issued cell phone to call escort services on multiple occasions.     

Liberty confirmed the hire officially in a press conference on Friday afternoon.  

Freeze himself appeared to confirm the reports hours earlier on Twitter by thanking friends for their messages congratulating him on the new gig.  

The 49-year-old is set to replace Turner Gill, who retired as the Flames’ head coach after Liberty completed its inaugural Football Bowl Subdivision season last weekend and went 6–6 in 2018.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO 

Liberty University has hired scandal-plagued former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, who resigned from his previous coaching job last year after an investigation found that he'd used his school-issued cell phone to call escort services on multiple occasions

Liberty University has hired scandal-plagued former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, who resigned from his previous coaching job last year after an investigation found that he'd used his school-issued cell phone to call escort services on multiple occasions

Liberty University has hired scandal-plagued former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, who resigned from his previous coaching job last year after an investigation found that he’d used his school-issued cell phone to call escort services on multiple occasions

Freeze's five-year tenure at Ole Miss came to an end in July 2017 after university officials found a 'pattern of personal misconduct' by the married father-of-three (pictured with his wife)

Freeze's five-year tenure at Ole Miss came to an end in July 2017 after university officials found a 'pattern of personal misconduct' by the married father-of-three (pictured with his wife)

Freeze’s five-year tenure at Ole Miss came to an end in July 2017 after university officials found a ‘pattern of personal misconduct’ by the married father-of-three (pictured with his wife)

Liberty confirmed it's hiring of Freeze (above) in a press conference on Friday afternoon

Liberty confirmed it's hiring of Freeze (above) in a press conference on Friday afternoon

Liberty confirmed it’s hiring of Freeze (above) in a press conference on Friday afternoon

During a bizarre introductory news conference, Freeze vaguely referenced his troubles from just 18 months ago, choking up as he said: ‘I’ve won Sugar Bowls and been praised. I’ve made decisions that have hurt a lot of people. I don’t want to experience that again.

‘My wife of 27 years would tell you I’ve inconvenienced her many times in our marriage,’ he added.

Freeze claimed that he’s spent his time off the field reflecting, saying of the break: ‘It’s also given me time to, when I did not adhere to [my core values], learn about what discipline looks like.’

 My wife of 27 years would tell you I’ve inconvenienced her many times in our marriage.

He went on to say: ‘Our program is going to be about certain core values. Number one is faith. 

‘Faith for me is believing in the son of God, Jesus Christ. He’s the only one I’ve ever met who can handle my junk.’   

Also speaking at the conference was another scandal-scarred figure – the school’s current athletic director Ian McCaw. 

McCaw was hired by Liberty just months after he resigned from Baylor University amid widespread allegations of sexual assault within its football program. 

The athletic director said of Freeze: ‘What really has impressed us the most with him is he’s a man of great faith, a great family man, and he’s someone who really pours into his student-athletes.’ 

Liberty Athletic Director Ian McCaw, another scandal-scarred football figure, called Freeze 'a great family man'. McCaw was hired by Liberty just months after he resigned from Baylor University amid widespread allegations of sexual assault within its football program

Liberty Athletic Director Ian McCaw, another scandal-scarred football figure, called Freeze 'a great family man'. McCaw was hired by Liberty just months after he resigned from Baylor University amid widespread allegations of sexual assault within its football program

Liberty Athletic Director Ian McCaw, another scandal-scarred football figure, called Freeze ‘a great family man’. McCaw was hired by Liberty just months after he resigned from Baylor University amid widespread allegations of sexual assault within its football program

Freeze is set to replace Turner Gill (above), who retired as the Flames' head coach after Liberty completed its inaugural Football Bowl Subdivision season last weekend and went 6–6 in 2018

Freeze is set to replace Turner Gill (above), who retired as the Flames' head coach after Liberty completed its inaugural Football Bowl Subdivision season last weekend and went 6–6 in 2018

Freeze is set to replace Turner Gill (above), who retired as the Flames’ head coach after Liberty completed its inaugural Football Bowl Subdivision season last weekend and went 6–6 in 2018

Freeze is bringing to Liberty a college coaching record of 69-32, after having been on a break from coaching since he resigned from Ole Miss in July 2017. 

His five-year tenure at the Mississippi university included a 2015 Sugar Bowl victory as well as an extensive NCAA investigation into rule violations.  

Freeze’s resignation came after an internal university probe found a ‘pattern of personal misconduct’ by the married father-of-three.   

At the time of Freeze's resignation in July 2017, Ole Miss was also being investigated by the NCAA for rules violations

At the time of Freeze's resignation in July 2017, Ole Miss was also being investigated by the NCAA for rules violations

At the time of Freeze’s resignation in July 2017, Ole Miss was also being investigated by the NCAA for rules violations

‘In our analysis, we discovered a pattern of conduct that is not consistent with our expectations as the leader of our football program,’ athletic director Ross Bjork said just before Freeze resigned. 

‘As of yesterday, there appeared to be a concerning pattern.’ 

The investigation was opened after officials noticed a one-minute call made from Freeze’s university phone on January 19, 2016, to a Detroit-based number linked to a site that offers various escort services.  

The call led the school to comb through the rest of his phone records, revealing more problems.  

Bjork said Freeze ‘admitted the conduct’ before offering his resignation.   

School officials said Freeze’s departure had nothing to do with the concurrent NCAA investigation, which had resulted in a two-year postseason ban after the team won the Sugar Bowl.

The investigation accused Freeze of ‘lacking institutional control’, fostering ‘an unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting’ and failing to monitor his coaching staff.  

Recruiting restrictions were also imposed on Ole Miss’s program as a result. 

New Liberty Head Football Coach Press Conference

Posted by Liberty University on Friday, 7 December 2018

=68.ARBCd2EUu8N6hpK5mB5qRK7bLR3DeGBjAug6jJbFPedBQDdH_ki1zfQcXh_5L-xrpoYsfgJiqbvazmcX9N3etusGCH_cujQoBixZtDYQH_G3HAlK2hnaNDso9X21vq3mM07fLZ-hgoVWJov2gGEZ-r7JJ6c6VNbnwgUofrxzlZI7RUue-ycD7DEZuBW83Z0mb1Y3zLeW8fEX81TWo1ciZRLQYiG63YWpRUwDgr_ocwnrMT_RKvjBLNofs1xU3L51fxA4izP10-c0qvuTL4fYFif3idTsVjmfIUpKvg7ZXp0ZPC5x0CZ4Q3Cb3kIiL_uZ9OEOaJ5gT4i9h22JO4sJ3368BbjR&__tn__=-R]

 

Advertisement
Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)