“It’s just a very odd time. It’s very different than anything I’ve ever experienced.”

Those were the first words from Liberty head football coach as he held a video press conference from his football office on Monday, March 30. We all can certainly concur as the country and world are facing the coronavirus by taking measures most of us have never previously encountered in our lifetime.

“Obviously with the health crisis that came and the uncertainty around the virus, there was no question what was the right thing to do,” Freeze said of canceling spring practice and other non-essential activities. “The health and welfare of our students and our staff have to come first, and our staff’s wives and young kids. Trying to decide what exactly that looks like for people that are in decision making processes is not really easy all the time.”

“There’s no real end game, as coaches, for 26 years now my yearly calendar has been the same. I don’t have practice to script today or film to watch of practice yesterday.”

Liberty was on spring break for a week before the coaching staff returned to work March 23rd. When Freeze spoke to the media, he and his staff were still trying to fight through all the details of what this new normal will look like over the next several weeks.

“Normally what we do now, we’ve flipped with what we do in June,” he said. “In June, we would be game planning for the first three or four games, so now we’ve kinda flipped that and that’s what we’re currently doing since we don’t have spring ball to get ready for.”

Freeze said he thinks there’s about 22 football players who are in Lynchburg while the rest of the roster has transitioned to living elsewhere. The football staff has begun meeting with their position groups frequently and checking in with their entire group daily.

There’s no team activities going on currently, but strength coach Dominic Studzinski has been communicating with the players frequently with best practices to stay in as good of shape as possible.

“Obviously, one of the biggest hurdles, concerns that I think, as I talk to my friends in the coaching business that we all have, is the well being of our students that are not around us,” Freeze explained. “We don’t have our hand on them. They’re being asked to function academically differently than what is the norm with online and not having access to the tutors and the things that they typically have. I know our academic support staff, they’re doing an incredible job, but it is a challenge. That is a concern for a football coach. Our staff is daily required to communicate with our players in regards to how the academics went for that day.”

Most of the coaches are still coming into the office periodically. The staff is still having meetings while ensuring proper social distancing. Moving forward, the Liberty staff will continue working on installs with the players that began during spring practice as well as closely monitoring academic progress.

Liberty is using virtual meetings to even go over game film with the student-athletes.

“We can teach it, instruct it and then show it,” Freeze said of these meetings. “That will be the plan moving forward for the next few weeks.”

We all are adjusting to a new normal and Liberty football is no different. In the meantime, the Flames will continue to prepare for the 2020 season as they never expected: from the comfort of their own homes.