Hugh Freeze is headed to Auburn and Liberty is looking for its next head coach. Under Director of Athletics Ian McCaw, Liberty offers a very attractive job. The Flames have some of the best facilities of any Group of Five program in the country. Freeze was one of the highest paid G5 coaches, and Liberty has the resources to invest in the program to continue its growth towards being one of the best at the G5 level.
Here is a list of names that will be mentioned among this opening as Liberty looks to replace Freeze.
Allen is currently the head coach at Indiana where he was named the 2020 Big Ten Coach of the Year and the AFCA Coach of the Year as he guided the Hoosiers to a 6-2 record and final ranking of No. 12. He has been under .500 in four of his six seasons with the Hoosiers in what is a very difficult job in the Big Ten. He has an overall record of 30-40 at Indiana. Allen is closely tied to Hugh Freeze, working with him at Lambuth, Arkansas State, and Ole Miss. Prior to his time at Indiana, Allen was the defensive coordinator at South Florida and Indiana.
The Briles family will be mentioned by the national media with this position for as long as it is open. Art Briles is a name that has been linked to Liberty ever since Ian McCaw was hired as Liberty’s AD. He had very successful tenures as head coach at both Houston and Baylor, but that has obviously been overshadowed by the Baylor sexual assault scandal. Art’s son, Kendal, is currently the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. He has held that same position at several previous stops including Florida State, Houston, Florida Atlantic and under his dad at Baylor. Obviously, McCaw has a history with Briles, including the younger Kendal. Would Liberty and McCaw want the baggage that would come with this hire?
Chadwell is currently the head coach at Coastal Carolina. He is 39-21 in five seasons leading the Chanticleers. Prior to his time in Conway, South Carolina, Chadwell had head coaching stints at North Greenville, Delta State, and Charleston Southern. He was 35-14 during his time with CSU, including two trips to the FCS Playoffs. His reported salary is just under $1 million and Liberty could easily double that, but does Chadwell see this as a move up?
Chizik is currently the assistant head coach for defense at North Carolina. He was previously the head coach at Auburn from 2009-2012. His tenure there included a 14-0 season in 2010 that included a victory over Oregon in the BCS National Championship behind Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. He has stops as defensive coordinator at Stephen F Austin, UCF, Auburn, and Texas and was also head coach at Iowa State for two seasons before taking over at Auburn.
Cignetti is currently the head coach at James Madison where he has led the Dukes to a 8-3 mark in the program’s first year at the FBS level. He was 33-5 in his first three seasons at JMU, guiding them to at least the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs all three years. Prior to his time in Harrisonburg, Cignetti was 53-17 for Division II IUP and then had two successful seasons in the FCS at Elon, going 14-9 and making the Playoffs both seasons.
Frost was fired as Nebraska’s head coach earlier this year, during his fifth season with the team. He was 16-31 overall with his alma mater, including a 10-26 conference record. Frost had two successful years at UCF prior to going to Nebraska. He was 19-7 in his two seasons in Orlando, including a 13-0 record in 2017, leading the Knights to a win in the Peach Bowl.
Patterson is currently the special assistant to the head coach at Texas. He was previously the head coach at TCU, leading the Horned Frogs to six conference championships and 11 bowl game victories including the 2011 Rose Bowl and 2014 Peach Bowl. In 2010, his team finished the season undefeated at 13-0.
Streeter was Liberty’s quarterback coach and offensive coordinator from 2006-2011 under former head coach Danny Rocco. The former Clemson quarterback has been back at his alma mater since that time, coaching the quarterbacks and taking over as offensive coordinator this past season. Streeter turned Liberty away when the position was open a few years ago, have things changed from either side since then?
Wommack is the head coach at South Alabama, leading them to a 10-2 record and 7-1 mark in the Sun Belt in this year, his second at USA. His first season, South Alabama finished 5-7. Prior to his time in Mobile, Wommack served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Indiana from 2018-2020 under Tom Allen. He also has stints at Ole Miss (worked with Hugh Freeze) and Eastern Illinois.