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Ole Misc.: Stories on Hugh Freeze's Unlikely Ascend, Recruiting, and all Landsharks Everything

If what we're offering today doesn't get you excited for the weekend then that's your problem.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A common knock on Hugh Freeze by Ole Miss' detractors is that he earned his chops in high school coaching both football and women's basketball. I can guarantee that, more than once, you've heard something along the lines of "TSUN done hired a girl's basketball coach hyukhyukhyuk /clanga" over the past few seasons. And while that conveniently ignores his short but successful tenure as a college football coach - Freeze actually had D1 head coaching experience before Ole Miss hired him, which is more than can be said about several SEC head coaches - it is a criticism that I never really understood.

If you're now a college coach, what's so bad about cutting your teeth at the high school level? If anything, there are some significant positives to take a way from a coach who was able to have success coaching both boys and girls in two different sports to multiple championships.

First, succeeding in both basketball and football shows the ability to understand different strategies and gameplans. Gameplanning, practicing, and coaching the two sports probably couldn't be much farther removed from each other.

Second, and most importantly, dealing with teenagers can't be easy. Teenagers are emotional, awkward bags of hormones, and being able to keep them motivated and focused takes a skill that few folks, coaches or otherwise, can possess. One reason that it doesn't surprise me that Hugh Freeze is a great recruiter is because he was such a successful high school coach. He "gets" 16-18-year-olds and knows what makes them tick.

Third, today's high school football is an incubator of football strategies and schemes. High school coaches, such as Gus Malzhan when he was at Springdale, have more leeway and incentive to innovate to give their teams competitive edges, particularly those that don't have a clear talent advantage. It's no surprise then that some of football's best offensive minds, including Art Briles and the aforementioned Malzhan, have significant experience at the high school level.

So, yeah, Ole Miss does have a high school girls basketball coach at the helm, and I'd argue that we're better off for it.

Other Links:

Here's a Tweet that should get you excited:

That's 5-star defensive end Cece Jefferson, if you're curious.

And Let's Wrap up with a Hype Video: