JONESBORO (11/28/11) – With a high amount of speculation circulating about Arkansas State Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze's level of involvement in the ongoing searches for a head football coach at various NCAA?FBS?institutions, Freeze and Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee have issued the following joint statement.
"Our football team has one week left during the regular season and is focusing on the Troy game, so out of respect for our players and coaches we feel that it is inappropriate to comment at this time on any speculation or rumors surrounding Coach Freeze and various coaching vacancies that are out there," said Lee. "Requests by any institution to speak with Coach Freeze during this week have not and will not be granted. Coach Freeze and I both agree the focus right now should be on our current season and closing out our home schedule with a victory on Senior Day."
"Coach Freeze and I will continue to have open communication not only about the interest other institutions may express in him, but about his future as Arkansas State's head football coach," Lee said. "We have put together a package for Coach Freeze that we feel rewards success, and we will continue to have dialogue with Coach Freeze regarding his continuation as our head football coach."
Arkansas State, which holds a 9-2 overall and 7-0 league record, has claimed at least a share of the Sun Belt Conference championship and accepted an official invitation to the GoDaddy.com Bowl. ?The Red Wolves are receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 Poll and USA?Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. They are No. 30 and No. 34 in the latest CBSSports.com 120 and BCS rankings, respectively.
"I want to be clear that my focus right now is on our players and our football team's game against Troy this week," said Freeze. "We want to minimize distractions and finish this outstanding season strong. Myself and our team are 100 percent focused on the difficult task we have ahead of us this week facing a very talented Troy team.
"This is a process that is a part of this business, but I also want to express how ecstatic I am to be the head football coach at Arkansas State University," Freeze said. "I have a wonderful situation here, and everyone on this team is excited about the opportunity we have in front of us this week and at the GoDaddy.com Bowl."
The ASU?Athletic Department, football team, Coach Freeze and Dr. Lee will have no further comment on this matter this week.