As Liberty gears up for Saturday’s game against Western Carolina, Hugh Freeze met with the media on Thursday to give an update on his team’s week of practice.

“I want them to prepare the same way every week, whether you are emotional about it or your excitement level is an eight this week or a 10 this week about the opportunity you have this week to play,” he said as he discussed his team’s preparation this week. “I don’t think it’s realistic to think a team should be at a 10 every single week emotionally but your preparation should be the same as it is every week.”

Below are the 5 most interesting comments from Freeze from his Thursday press conference …

“I’m beyond grateful, thankful for Ian, Dr. Prevo and our board for believing in the way we’re doing things, not only on the field but I think they’re recognizing the fruits off the field right now are good too, not perfect, but we’ve got a good thing going and are building something that I think is really special. We’re kind of having one of those magical runs right now. It’s very gratifying to be able to give back to a university that believed in you and supported you, particularly in my situation. My family has been overjoyed and blessed beyond measure by everything our administration has done for us. I’m really thankful for Ian, he’s a tremendous leader and just great to work with and for.”

“This is something I would never initiate. That is up to Ian, our board and Dr. Prevo, but they were so gracious to begin those talks middle or early of Virginia Tech week. I’ve said it all along, I don’t know if believe don’t believe it or whatever, I can’t control what people believe or what they say, I’ve told our players and I’ve told our administration, it would take something very special for me to leave what we’re building here now. So far, the options that have flirted my way have not been anything that remotely interested me. I’m flattered and thankful, but we are at peace here.”

“I never know what God holds in the future and neither does anyone else, but I know where my feet are right now and I know that my focus is solely on building a program here and I’m very content and happy with that and grateful that our players and Ian and the administration feel the same. That’s as transparent and honest as I can put it to you, but I’m not looking. It would take somebody gaining my attention by it being something that would blow me away. I just don’t see…I love what we’re doing here. I love the program, I love the people, I love the mission, I love our kids, our staff. I’m very much at peace.”


“I said when I got here that I believed in five years we would be one of the top Group of Five programs in the nation. I see nothing that makes me doubt that or change my mind on that. The commitment from the school is there, we can recruit players to this place because I do think it’s special. It’s special in the fact that number one regardless of what your personal beliefs are, this faith based university is different. Certainly, we don’t expect every player to come here to…we’re all going to be at different levels when you talk about your personal faith.”

“Regardless of whether you decide to grow in your faith while you’re here, you’re going to be exposed to it. It’s something to me that separates us. Regardless of whether you decide your faith is just like what Liberty’s is a core value, at some point in your life you are going to have to have faith in something bigger than yourself. Whether it’s a team, whether it’s another person, you’re going to have to have something that you have faith in that is bigger than yourself to sustain all the gut punches of life, the challenges that we face. I know of no other place that better prepares you for that than where I am right now at Liberty University. I think it makes it special. Obviously, I think the culture and the confidence that we create in our program with the messaging that we have from me to our assistant coaches down to our players, the support we get from our administration is as good as any place. I wouldn’t say it’s better because I haven’t experienced every place, but it’s as good as any place I’ve ever been at. I would venture to guess it’s probably, maybe, better than some because we’re all on the same page, pulling the rope in the same direction. Then you look at our facilities, I don’t know of any Group of Five that are any better.”


“I had my fling with the national attention and the praise of people, it makes you feel good, it’s awesome for your kids to experience it, for your administration and school to experience it. We want that. We desire that. We want to stay relevant. But if you’re doing it just for that, I think you’re missing a huge opportunity to develop. I tell you what I enjoy more than the national attention, matter of fact, there are days I wish it wasn’t so much. I wish it was more on Liberty and what has been accomplished here and our kids. What is enjoyable is the experience and the attention that I get with my wife and kids, our staff, and these players after a huge win like Virginia Tech. Now, that’s special and that has much more meaning to me, even though I do like the national attention on our program. I think it’s needed, that’s part of our growth. We’ve got to handle that. The desire to have that more than the stuff that is in the team room and the stuff that is at your home, I don’t want to ever desire that more than those things. It’s nice, it’s a step in the right direction for our program, and we certainly want it, but I hope our kids hear me when we talk about the order to which we should desire those things.”


“I have the utmost respect for Ritchie. There are very few people I call for advice on things or to talk things over, but would not hesitate to call and get his wisdom. I think he’s a tremendous leader that has great wisdom, he seeks it from the right place. I have great admiration for him. He called (last night) to congratulate me, and then he had two questions for me and I had a question for him. I love our relationship.”


“We really have no clue what to expect. This team has not played a game yet. They have a whole new defensive staff. We don’t really know what we’re walking into Saturday, and we’re going to have to be on top of our game as coaches to get our kids adjusted to whatever we see fairly quick and hopefully settle in and play a solid football game.”