I know Coach Hugh Freeze as the passionate, hard nosed, no non-sense high school football coach at my alma mater, Briarcrest, in Memphis. In 9th grade, Coach Freeze called me into his office after he found out that I was not coming out for freshman football–I was wanting to focus on hoops. In a most convincing tone, he said, “Alan, be careful about putting all of your eggs in one basket.” I can’t say that I regret not taking his advice, especially now that I know my 152 pound frame never really blossomed into a prototype of anything. That was 15 years ago. Yesterday, Coach Freeze was announced as the 37th football coach at Ole Miss.
Most coaches stand behind a podium during their first press conference and offer coach speak/material they used at their last acceptance speech, but Coach Freeze paced the room and, with much depth, outlined what Ole Miss football would look like under his regime. He was passionate, humble, confident, and unabashedly proclaimed his Faith as it related to the commitment and love his teams were to have for one another. After his speech, one reporter candidly asked the new coach, “Did you ever think about going into the ministry?”
Freeze paused for a moment and responded with a smile, “This is the ministry.”
I could use more of this thinking…..if you’re a pastor and an Ole Miss fan, you just found your sermon illustration for this coming Sunday. And if you’re a Mississippi State fan, watch out for Wake Forest on December 30.