It's official, per Archie himself. Ole Miss has hired Hugh Freeze as its new head coach.
There will be a press conference at 2 p.m. Central, and it will be streamed online.
Freeze is best known for being Michael Oher's high school coach in the book/movie The Blind Side, but there's a lot more to him than that. He had a long run of success at Briarcrest High School in Memphis, including a pair of state titles. He coached under Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss from 2006-07 before taking the head coaching job at NAIA Lambuth in Jackson, Tennessee. He went 20-5 there, including a 12-1 second season. Arkansas State hired him as offensive coordinator for 2010 and promoted him to head coach in 2011 following the firing of Steve Roberts. He went 10-2 this year.
Even though most of those experiences came outside the Magnolia State, he went to high school in Senatobia, MS and has degrees from Northwest Mississippi Community college and Southern Miss. Memphis is in some ways an outpost of Mississippi in Tennessee anyway. Freeze has many ties to the area and has done nothing but win games everywhere he's been. At least, everywhere he's been when Oregeron also was not there.
He's not a big, splashy name like Mike Leach, but he might just be the right kind of guy for the school. David Cutcliffe could coach, but he wasn't big enough on recruiting. Orgeron could recruit but couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag. Houston Nutt won right away but found success more and more difficult as more and more of Orgeron's players left.
Freeze was Orgeron's recruiting coordinator and appears to be a good coach. Whether he can put everything together in Oxford at a time when the SEC West has never been tougher remains to be seen, but he's a moderate risk with a high apparent upside.