College football coach Hugh Freeze was not about to miss Liberty University’s first game as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision – even though it meant coaching the game from his hospital bed.
Recovering from recent back surgery on a herniated disk and a serious staph infection, Flames head coach Freeze was not able to be on the sideline in the season opener against Syracuse at Liberty’s Williams Stadium.
Liberty therefore set up a hospital bed in the coaches’ box, and Freeze called the game from there.
His team ended up losing 24-0, but it was a huge game for Liberty as it was the first time a ranked opponent had visited the college. It was also almost certainly the first time a college coach had called a game from his hospital bed.
“It’s probably a first, nationwide, and it will be a trivia question someday,” Freeze said at a news conference, which he also conducted from his bed.
“It was a pretty remarkable idea and I’m thankful for it.”
— Liberty Football (@LibertyFootball) September 1, 2019
As for his recovery, Freeze claimed he is feeling better.
“Felt really good today, and the doctors wanted me to really stay totally off my feet today and [Sunday], and then we’ll kind of have a conversation Monday morning. It doesn’t hurt right now,” he added.
It was Freeze’s first coaching appearance since he resigned from Ole Miss in 2017 amid a scandal involving recruiting and academic violations.