In the off-season, Hugh Freeze replaced Steve Roberts as the head coach at Arkansas State. Freeze served one year as the Red Wolves offensive coordinator before being elevated to head coach after Roberts was dismissed from the head coaching position.
Freeze described the transition today during the Sun Belt conference call.
Freeze stated, “It wasn’t a little awkward. It was very awkward. Awkward from the standpoint of you coached a year with a lot of guys that ultimately you were responsible for them looking elsewhere for jobs and had nothing to do with them not being quality coaches or quality men, it’s just when you get your one chance, you want to make the most of it.”
“It was very awkward from a standpoint that Steve Roberts, who maybe the guy that I respect the most in this business after coaching with him for a year because of the type of man he is and the type of program he runs and the influence and impact he had on the kids in the program.”
“To see him (Roberts) hurt and then find out that I’m going to get to accomplish a dream, at his expense so to speak, was very difficult. The way he handled it all, and the relationship we continue to have, I’ve learned so much from watching him go through this difficult time.”
“When I first realized that I was a person of interest here, I asked if I could visit with him. I told him what I thought was going on. Being the man he is, he said this is the way our business is. I would rather have those young men with someone I trust and know has their best interest at heart than someone I don’t know.”
“He was very honest like he always is. It was nothing personal with us, and wished me the best in getting it. He thought I should go after it if that’s what my dream was. I just have great respect for him and am very thankful for him.”
Freeze and Arkansas State open the season at Illinois. After hosting Memphis in the second week of the season, Arkansas State will travel to Virginia Tech.