After leading Liberty to a 7-5 season in the first year on the job, Liberty is reportedly preparing an extension and significant raise for Hugh Freeze.
According to a report from Barrett Sallee tonight, the extension and pay bump are aimed at making Freeze one of the highest Group of Five coaches in college football.
We can confirm the report.
Currently, the highest paid coach at the Group of Five level is Houston’s Dana Holgorsen at approximately $3.7 million per year. Memphis’ Mike Norvell signed a contract extension back in February that increased his salary to $2.6 million. Fellow AAC coaches like Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo, Central Florida’s Josh Heupel, and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell are all paid above the $2 million mark as well.
A private institution, Liberty is not required to disclose Freeze’s current salary.
While the head coach at Ole Miss in 2014, Freeze signed a contract extension upping his pay from $3.15 million to $4.3 million annually. His eventual resignation at Ole Miss cost him to forfeit about $20 million, according to multiple reports at the time.
With schools putting a high value on abilities like Freeze’s to quickly build winning programs, it will be interesting to see if Liberty discloses the details of the offer, and if it’s enough to keep Freeze from leaving for a potential Power Five opportunity (or a premier fellow Group of Five school looking to poach Freeze’s services).
Sources tell FootballScoop Liberty is seeking to ensure Freeze is not lured away by a program such as Memphis which might just be in the market in a couple of days.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Source tells me that Liberty is prepared to offer Hugh Freeze an extension that will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the Group of Five. Freeze led the Flames to a 7-5 record in his first season with the program.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 5, 2019