It will continue to be a topic of conversation for as long as Hugh Freeze is Liberty’s head football coach. How long will he stay at Liberty? What schools would he be interested in leaving for?

As the Flames’ second year head coach has Liberty ranked No. 22 this week in both the Associated Press and Coaches Top 25 Polls and unbeaten at 7-0 following the team’s win at Virginia Tech, his name is becoming increasingly popular on social media and across the internet for Power Five schools that could be looking for a new head coach soon.

“I’m thankful for Liberty,” Freeze said when a guest on Outkick with Clay Travis recently. “I’m thankful that they took the time to sit down with Jill and I and hear our story and give us this opportunity. We’ve found a tremendous home here. I have a great, great job. I don’t think any coach can ever say, I’ll never leave a certain job until you get to a certain point in your life, but I can tell you this, there’s very few that would interest me to leave here. Jill is happy here. My girls are happy here. We’re blessed.”

As Liberty fans, you immediately wonder what exactly “very few” jobs means. Prior to his time at Liberty, Freeze has spent his entire professional career in the Southeast. From Tennessee to Mississippi to Arkansas. He’s originally from Oxford, Mississippi and went to college at Southern Miss. He always talked about his dream was to be a head coach in the SEC. He realized that goal at Ole Miss where Freeze once said he was hopeful to retire there.

At Liberty, he can accomplish nearly everything he would aspire for, and he could do so in a family friendly environment. Freeze can build a legacy at Liberty. Become the Bobby Bowden or Frank Beamer of the school. Compete at a national level. With only one full recruiting class, he already has the Flames nationally relevant, beating multiple Power Five schools in one season and ranked nationally.

“Blast, having a great time,” Freeze said recently when asked how much fun this season has been for him. “I feel fortunate, blessed, grateful, just want to make the most of each opportunity, each day that I have. It’s been great for my wife and my kids. I enjoy coaching these kids. We have a great group of kids. I enjoy our staff. Our administration is incredibly supportive.”

We all know the Hugh Freeze story by now. How he quickly rose from being a very successful high school football and girl’s basketball coach to having Ole Miss ranked No. 3 nationally in less than a decade. Quicker than he rose, he fell as Freeze resigned in July 2017 amid scandal. The 2020 football season is still a work in progress, but the Hugh Freeze redemption story is off to an amazing start.

“People sometimes write things about this being a redemptive story, however you want to phrase that,” he said. “I don’t want to make it about that entirely because that’s such a small part of it, but I do think failures are probably a very, very, very close kin to successes. I don’t know of many people that don’t experience great success without having some type of failure. The people that can handle the gut punches and the failures that you have and continue to not lose hope, to not lose joy, to not lose faith, to not lose heart, and continue to grind to climb cliffs, and fight battles and continue to win and continue to try to better yourself, make sure you learn from the times when you got it wrong. I think that is all part of this, to me personally. I’m thankful for the close friends, the encouragers I have, those that know me for who I really am.”

Liberty will put its unbeaten mark on the line this Saturday when the Flames host Western Carolina. It will be the FCS’ Catamounts first of three scheduled games this fall. Freeze and Liberty also have big tests still looming with road trips Nov. 21 to NC State and Dec. 5 at No. 16 Coastal Carolina.

“Thankful for Liberty and obviously the opportunity that the administration gave me here to be sitting in this position,” Freeze said in a recent press conference. “I don’t know if this is selfish, I don’t think I’m a selfish individual anymore, I guess we all are to a certain extent, but in some way you’re thrilled you can make good on the faith they showed in you, if that makes sense, to give something back. I think that’s all part of it.”

There’s still one thing, most notably, that he is unlikely to be able to accomplish at Liberty anytime soon and that’s competing for a national championship. If a school, that has a much higher likelihood of competing for a national championship, comes calling, it would be hard for Freeze to say no. Until then, Liberty is thankful to have one of the best coaches in the country.

“I have one of the greatest jobs, I think, up and coming, in America right now,” Freeze said on the Stingray Show Monday. “We’re at peace here. We’re already competing with Power Five schools in year two. I’ve already had a couple of phone calls from different places, even last year, I declined everything that came my way. I’m so happy here. So is my wife. So are my kids. I love these kids and this staff here at Liberty.”