For a third straight season, Coach Hugh Freeze and the Liberty Flames are heading home with yet another postseason bowl win after defeating Eastern Michigan 56-20 in the LendingTree Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Leading up to the Bowl Game on Saturday night, Coach Hugh Freeze had one message to his team, Saturday night was about the culture of Liberty Football. Liberty is one of two programs in the country to have won three straight bowl games in the first three years under a new coach.
Like many G5 schools before them, Liberty Football has developed a national recruiting pipeline centrally located by the regions in which the Flames have played their bowl games. You see, Liberty doesn’t have an unlimited budget like a lot of other College Football programs across the country, but what they do have is an incredible coach who has taken a program and built it into one of the most reputable programs in the country.
Watching what Liberty did this season came to no surprise to those who have quietly followed not only Liberty Football since the beginning but Coach Hugh Freeze since his days at Briarcrest Christian School in Eads, Tennessee. You see, long before Coach Freeze was Coach Freeze that the College Football knows, Coach Freeze was a highly successful high school football coach who won a lot of games and championships before eventually following God’s calling and chasing after a lifelong dream of coaching College Football at the highest of levels. From there, through a few valleys, Coach Freeze found his home high atop a mountain in Lynchburg, Virginia.
For Liberty, as a program, the Flames have won eight conference championships since 2006, when Danny Rocco started the program from scratch where he coached for five seasons, before turning the reigns over to Turner Gill, who took the programs to the unimaginable heights before Hugh Freeze got there in 2019. Then with Coach Freeze as Head Coach, Liberty has won back-to-back Cure Bowls in the first two seasons before closing out the 2021 season with a win over Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl.
You see, it might not make sense to the outside world, but Coach Freeze and Liberty is a match made in heaven. Other than Nick Saban at Alabama, you’d be hard-pressed to find another coach at a school where the coach and the program truly love each other and have no plans to move on from each other. Saturday’s third straight bowl win was just the beginning for the Flames. Expect this program to win more championships and to one day soon compete for a New Year’s Six Bowl game or, who knows, maybe given an expansion to the Playoffs, a bid to the College Football Playoffs. For the Flames, this off-season and hype surrounding it will only add fuel to an already raging fire that has made Liberty Football what it is today.