Will Hugh Freeze Make A Return Trip To C-U?

Inside Illini continues to profile coaches who may be candidates for the opening at Illinois. Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze gave the Illini a good battle early this season before losing, one of just two losses for his team. While he is considered a strong candidate for Mississippi and Memphis openings, his name has also been associated with the Illini.

Hugh Freeze is having one of the most successful seasons in Arkansas State University history.

His Red Wolves are currently 9-2 overall and will play Troy Saturday with a chance of being 10-2 on the year and undefeated in Sun Belt play.

Arkansas State began the season at Illinois; the Red Wolves's only losses for the season are against the Illni and Virginia Tech.

Only one other Sun Belt team has won 10 games in conference history, and the Red Wolves would become the fourth SB team to go undefeated in the conference standings.

Freeze, who is nationally known for the part he played in the life of Michael Oher in real life and in the Movie "The Blind Side", is well on his way to being named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year.

Freeze is one of several names Inside Illni has identified as candidates for the Illinois coaching vacancy.

Freeze is a fiery young coach who brings a high-powered offense with him as head coach and offensive coordinator of the Red Wolves.

His offense is No. 28 in the nation and No. 1 in the Sun Belt, while his defensive unit is No. 18 in the Nation and also holds the No.1 spot in conference standings.

Freeze is in his first year as head coach at Arkansas State. Prior to that, he served one year as the team's offensive coordinator. He served two years as Head Coach at Lambuth, an NAIA school. He took a 1-11 Lambuth team and turned it into instant winners, going 8-3 in his first season and 12-1 in his second year.

Freeze was also an assistant coach at Ole Miss for two years after serving one year as Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Football Operations for the Rebels. During his two years as an assistant coach for Ole Miss, Freeze was known as a great recruiter, helping the Rebels to nationally ranked recruiting classes.

WHY HUGH FREEZE WOULD BE A GOOD HIRE FOR ILLINOIS: He is a proven winner who teaches his teams how to win. He is a great leader and motivator and brings a high-powered offense with him.

WHY HUGH FREEZE MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT MAN FOR ILLINOIS: Lack of experience on the D-1 level is a major issue, but that hasn't kept schools like North Carolina, Ole Miss and Tulane from requesting to interview him. He is thought to be in the top three at Ole Miss in the Rebels's current coaching search.

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