If reports are accurate, at least five SEC teams had some interest in adding former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze to their coaching staff this offseason. It sounds like you can cross LSU off that list, though.
Though rumors circulated that Tigers coach Ed Orgeron may consider the former Rebels coach to replace Matt Canada as his offensive coordinator before ultimately deciding to promote Steve Ensminger from within, NFL draft and New Orleans Saints insider Mike Detillier says that was never going to happen.
And the reasoning had nothing to do with Freeze’s ability to call plays, or even SEC commissioner Greg Sankey’s opposition to Freeze rejoining the league just months after being relieved of his duties in Oxford in the midst of an NCAA investigation and escort scandal.
It was personal, according to Detillier, who divulged some interesting details on the situation during a recent interview with Mississippi radio station ESPN 105.9’s Out of Bounds.
“I think there has been a strain on the relationship,” Detillier told host Bo Bounds. “I know. Ed has told me. He thought a lot of Hugh as a head coach. He thought he had done a really good job at Ole Miss. But there is some strain in the relationship, personally. I don’t think there’s any debate on that.
Detillier said that rumors about Orgeron’s interest in Freeze were greatly exaggerated.
“People don’t look into that,” he said, referring to the alleged relationship issues. “They just want to connect the dots. They think that they do know, but that wasn’t really the case. Hugh was not in play here.”
Detillier did not go into detail on what the alleged strain between the two former Ole Miss head coaches may have revolved around, but he did explain that the idea of Freeze in Baton Rouge likely was dead on arrival even if Orgeron wanted him on staff.
“There’s no way that Ed, even if he felt strongly about Hugh, do you think that Joe Alleva is going to give him the two thumbs up to hire Hugh Freeze, after what happened at Ole Miss?” Detillier said. “That ain’t happening either. You know? You do have a boss, and Joe was not going to allow that to happen even if Ed wanted it to. And I strongly believe that Ed had no interest in it at all.
LSU has moved on and has much bigger fish to fry as Ensminger tries to identify his next quarterback and jump start the Tigers passing game this fall, but it’s always interesting to hear how things played out during these major SEC coaching searches.
You can listen to the clip from Detillier’s interview here:
ICYMI | #LSU insider @MikeDetillier said the relationship between #CoachO and former #OleMiss head coach Hugh Freeze has been seriously strained over the last few years, and may never be the same again #Tigers #Rebels #SEC #OOBShow pic.twitter.com/XU4vBqHJDz
— Out of Bounds (@bobounds) April 18, 2018