Ole Miss

Published on April 19th, 2015 | by Carver Rayburn


Freeze: Stay in the Game, Solid Ground, Unison and Find Your Platform

Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze spoke to Pinelake Church in Brandon today. The church, which has five campuses in Brandon, Clinton, Madison, Starkville and Oxford, is the 49th largest congregation in the United States with over 14,000 members and the ninth largest denominational church according to a Southern Baptist Convention report released 2014.

Established in 1971, the church has exploded with membership since Senior Pastor Chip Henderson was called to lead in 1998. By 2000, Pinelake Brandon relocated to 170 acres on Highway 25 North. 

“Coach Freeze just showed us how it’s all about God’s Love, and not us,” Henderson said after Freeze completed his message.

His message: It’s about Unison, God’s Love and not Me.

“When I was let go from Ole Miss after a stint as an assistant coach, I wasn’t really sure what my platform was,” Freeze said. “I threw a fit. My temper got the best of me, and I was very angry.”

Freeze did interview with then Head Coach Houston Nutt for the offensive coordinator position, but was not offered the job.

Following a book The Divine Mentor, Freeze began to find his platform.

He ended up at Lambuth in 2008 as a Head Coach and led the school, which was not known for winning football games on a regular basis, to a 25-5 record in two years, including an 12-1 record in his final season, the best in school history.

“I was offered a job at another school after my first year at Lambuth,” Freeze said. “The pay was more, it was a bigger school and seemed to be a no-brainer, but my wife had other ideas..”

In the book Freeze was devoted to reading on a daily basis, he found a verse on the day he was required to let the other school know if he would accept the job. A study in the book of Philippians directed Freeze to remain at Lambuth and turn down the money.

Freeze spent one year as a head coach at Arkansas State, leading the squad to a 10-2 record and their first conference championship since 2005.

“After that, I had about five job offers,” Freeze said. “My agent told me to take any of them but the Ole Miss job, because you can’t win there.”

Divine Mentor had other plans. The verse on decision day?  

I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have sent you and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile. Jeremiah 29:14logo_header

Freeze accepted the job at Ole Miss the same day. 

An Intentional Platform. Coaching is not his purpose. It’s his platform. 

“It’s all about your attitude,” Freeze said. “It’s the way you talk to yourself and think about yourself.” 

Freeze explained that everyone receives a gut punch at some point.

“We only have a limited amount of time here on Earth,” he said. “It’s about how we respond to that gut punch.” 

“If we can capture the minds and hearts of these young student-athletes and aid them through Christ to to make an intentional impact, then my staff has done their job,” he added.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

The testimony can be found in its on Monday at: FREEZE AT PINELAKE 






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About the Author

Carver Rayburn was born and raised an Ole Miss Rebel in Oxford, Mississippi. He has worked for many newspapers and magazines in both editorial and advertising, including OffBeat Magazine, The Hattiesburg American, The Meridian Star, The Neshoba Democrat, The Madison County Journal, The Clarke County Tribune, The New Albany Gazette, Southeastern Football Saturdays, and Rebel Yell. He currently lives in New Orleans and has a four-year-old son, Hart. You can contact Carver at carverrayburn@hotmail.com.

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