Liberty’s Freeze Coaches from Hospital Bed

Jason Scott Headshot

New Liberty head football coach Hugh Freeze was literally on his back throughout his debut in Lynchburg, Va., coaching from a hospital bed as he recovers from a back injury.

USA Today reports that Freeze was laid up in the run-up to the season and had to have surgery to treat a potentially life-threatening staph infection. But all of that didn’t stop the new Flames coach from going to work as his team took the field against Syracuse on Saturday. 

Freeze was brought into the stadium via wheelchair and remained in a hospital bed in the coaching booth throughout the game, addressing his team with video conferencing equipment prior to the game, at halftime, and at the end of the game. Freeze also used the set-up to fulfill his media obligations, speaking with reporters from the bed.

“It’s probably a first nationwide, and it will be a trivia question someday,” Freeze said after the game. “It was a pretty remarkable idea and I’m thankful for it.”

The execution was not without its flaws, however. Freeze said the visibility of the play clock was an issue throughout the night. 

Syracuse won the game 24-0, and the typical coaches’ handshake was instead a point and a wave. 

“I knew where he was and I just wanted him to know I love him and am thinking about him and God bless him and keep working hard,” said Syracuse head coach Dino Babers of the exchange.

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