Things appear to be moving rather quickly with Tennessee’s search for a new offensive coordinator now that the weekend is approaching.
It was reported earlier today that Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt had interviewed Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and is expected to speak with NC State offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz. Now, it looks like former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze could be close to being named the new OC at Tennessee according to another report.
Per a report from Dan Harralson of Vols Wire — a USA Today Sports digital property — a move to add Freeze to UT’s staff could be imminent.
According to Brett Norsworthy of Ole Miss/IMG Football Network, all signs are pointing to Freeze joining Tennessee as Jeremy Pruitt’s new offensive coordinator.
“All indications are pointing to something with Tennessee,” Norsworthy told Harralson and Vols Wire. “They (Tennessee) are getting a really good football coach.”
Norsworthy added that he believes Freeze and Pruitt will be a “formidable duo” at Tennessee and says he thinks Pruitt will be a “big-time winner” with the Vols. Norsworthy has worked with the Ole Miss/IMG Football Network for over a decade, and he’s known Hugh Freeze since his days as a high school coach at Briarcrest in Tennessee.
Freeze carries with him a stellar track record but also a checkered past. He was successful as the head coach at Ole Miss, but he resigned from that position heading into his sixth year there after multiple NCAA investigations. One investigation found that Freeze and his staff had given “impermissible benefits” to recruits, and a second investigation revealed that Freeze contacted a “female escort” using an university-issued cell phone.
It was shortly after the second investigation that Freeze announced he was stepping down from his position as the Ole Miss head coach.
Freeze has not coached in college since the 2016 season, though he was hired in October to be the offensive coordinator of the Arizona Hotshots in the newly-founded Alliance of American Football league.
It’s already been reported that the SEC would clear Freeze this year if he is offered an SEC job, however. Alabama head coach Nick Saban was strongly discouraged from hiring Freeze prior to the 2018 season by the SEC offices, but it’s expected that this year would be different for Freeze.
We will update as more information is released.