Being confined to a hospital bed was not going to stop Hugh Freeze from coaching his first game with Liberty on Saturday night.
The former Ole Miss coach was recently hospitalized with a disc issue and a staph infection after he was having severe back pain. His ability to be on the sidelines for the game against Syracuse was put in doubt after the hospitalization, but Freeze apparently found a way to make it work.
He’s watching the game from the Liberty coaches box from a hospital bed. Really. Here’s picture proof. It’s as bizarre as you’re expecting.
Here’s a look at Hugh Freeze’s seat in the coaches’ booth.— Nate Mink (@MinkNate) August 31, 2019
Freeze will essentially videoconference with his team pregame and at halftime and do so during postgame press conference.
The plan is to fly him to Louisiana next week to be with the team on the road. pic.twitter.com/YA1HAXiQ43
You can see where he is in proximity to the other assistants on the Liberty staff here. We understand Freeze’s desire to not miss his first game with Liberty, but it also would seem reasonable if he did given that he’s, you know, having to be in a hospital bed.
After the game, he gave a wave to Syracuse coach Dino Babers. Syracuse won 24-0.
Weirdest sport on earth pic.twitter.com/rLw5RkvkGK— Sharks with rabies (@thejasonkirk) September 1, 2019
And then here’s how Freeze conducted the press conference after the game. So bizarre.
Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze with a different style of press conference tonight. He coached from a hospital bed in a coaches booth due to a back injury which he says he’ll have more of an update on in a few days.— Josh Schafer (@Schafer_44) September 1, 2019
Freeze on how he coached from the booth tonight: pic.twitter.com/EftJ7wFSUr
Freeze said two weeks ago that he could have been in a life-threatening situation from the infection if he had gone to the hospital a day or so later than he did. But he said that Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. was able to get a consultation with Dr. Ben Carson, the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, and a doctor from Arizona recommended to fly to Virginia for surgery.
Freeze was hired by Liberty at the end of the 2018 season after spending the past two seasons away from coaching. He resigned at Ole Miss ahead of the 2017 season following a “pattern of conduct” per Ole Miss officials that included at least one call to an escort service from his school phone.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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