Many thought this would happen, but most thought it would come after the bowl game.
Ole Miss Rebels Head Coach Hugh Freeze just received a revamped contract extension following the teams first winning season since 2009.
Technically, it’s a one year extension, locking him into the Rebels through 2016. But really, it’s a just a re-working of the contract so he get’s a pay raise.
After making $1.5 million last year, Freeze will now be making in excess of $2 million beginning next year.
Some of the parameters of the contract have changed as well. In the original contract, Freeze received a bonus of $100,000 per conference win. Now, he’ll make $100,000 per conference win- after the first one. Essentially, nothing changes, except Ole Miss keeps an extra 100k. Truly brilliant.
But the real kicker in the extension is a ten percent increase in the salary pool for Freeze’s assistant coaches. After seeing Bret Bielema leave the Wisconsin Badgers in large part (he says) to their inability to retain highly thought of assistants, Ole Miss made a good move. Assistant coaches are the unsung heroes of college football. They rarely get any of the glory of the Head Coach, and are quickly axed when things aren’t going to plan.
I really don’t think Ole Miss has to worry about losing assistant yet, but they can rest easy knowing their competitively paying their assistants.
Freeze is coming off an impressive first season leading the Rebels, guiding the Rebels to their first bowl game since ’09. The former Arkansas State coach was personally chosen by Ole Miss’ patron saint of football- Archie Manning. So far, so good.
Ole Miss finished 6-6, but should’ve been 9-3 if they wouldn’t have blown late 4th quarter leads to LSU, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Before Freeze arrived, the Rebs had lost 14 straight SEC games, an abomination in the football-mecca that is Oxford.
Freeze can make strides on further living up to his contract by snagging Robert Nkemdiche in recruiting. Nkemdiche is thought by many to be the top high school football player in the country, and is leaning heavily towards the Rebels. If he commits to the Rebels, then the floodgates will open up with other elite prospects who want to play alongside him.
All in all, a good move re-working Freeze’s contract by Ole Miss, and an even better one by increasing the assistant coaches pay.