Liberty and Hugh Freeze have executed a new multi-year contract, the school has announced. The new contract extends the Flames’ head coach through the 2026 season. Further details of the extension were not immediately available. Sources told ESPN that this extension would place Freeze among the top 5 highest paid non-Power Five head coaches in college football, which would be around $3 million per year in salary.

“Coach Freeze is a wonderful blessing to Liberty and we are grateful for his outstanding leadership of our football program and mentorship of our football student-athletes,” Liberty Athletic Director Ian McCaw said. “All aspects of the program are on the rise including on field performance, academics, recruiting, and operations.”

Freeze has guided the Liberty football program to its best ever start at 7-0 and first ever national ranking as the Flames are ranked No. 22 in both the Coaches and Associated Press Top 25 polls this week. Liberty has defeated its first two ACC opponents in school history earlier this season, with wins over Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Freeze is 15-5 in his season and a half as Liberty’s head coach, including an 8-5 mark last year where he guided the program to its first every bowl appearance and bowl win, 23-16, over Georgia Southern in the Cure Bowl.

“We are proud of Coach Freeze and the football program,” Liberty interim president Jerry Prevo stated. “This contract extension demonstrates my commitment and support of him and our program. Dr. Falwell’s vision was for Liberty to compete at the highest level of college football and Coach Freeze is making great strides towards realizing the vision.”

Liberty and Freeze agreed to a contract extension following the 2019 season which extended Freeze through the 2024 season and made him one of the highest-paid coaches in the Group of Five, reportedly near $2 million annually, including an incentive package based on win totals.

“I am thankful for the strong commitment and support from President Prevo and our leadership and look forward to continuing to build this program,” said Freeze. “Our family along with the coaching staff, support personnel and players are grateful to have the opportunity to represent this University.”

Freeze continues to be mentioned as a possible coaching candidate if any Power Five coaching jobs come available in the coming weeks and months. Earlier this week, Freeze said he is happy at Liberty.

“I have one of the greatest jobs, I think, up and coming, in America right now,” Freeze said earlier this week. “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.”