Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns

Mississippi NCAA college football coach Hugh Freeze speaks during the Southeastern Conference's annual media gathering, Thursday, July 13, 2017, in Hoover, AL.  (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Mississippi NCAA college football coach Hugh Freeze speaks during the Southeastern Conference's annual media gathering, Thursday, July 13, 2017, in Hoover, AL. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

(RNN) -  Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigned on Thursday as school officials cited a pattern of personal misconduct.   

There is no buyout and no settlement for Freeze, according to Ole Miss Athletic Director Ross Bjork. Freeze had a “pattern" of behavior that was unacceptable, Bjork said. He refused to elaborate.   

Freeze would have been released under a moral conduct clause in his contract if he had not resigned, officials said.  

"Coach Freeze was very transparent, open, honest and admitted the conduct. He offered his resignation and we accepted," Bjork said. 

Yahoo Sports on Thursday reported that the school found at least one call from Freeze to an escort service. Freeze maintained that the call was a misdial, as he was in the 813 area code and the call was to a 313 number. The call registered just a minute.

The school also is mired in an NCAA probe.  Freeze’s resignation came about a week after he appeared at SEC media days in Birmingham, AL. The school had stood  by Freeze during the NCAA investigation.   

Freeze addressed the team on Thursday afternoon and told them of the decision. School officials said during a Thursday evening news conference that the resignation was not related to the NCAA investigation. 

Freeze, 47, was considered one of college football’s top rising coaches. He compiled a 39-25 record during five campaigns in Oxford. His slate in the SEC was 19-21.   

Assistant Matt Luke was named interim coach on Thursday. 

Freeze took the Rebels to heights not seen consistently since the days of legendary coach Johnny Vaught, but never took a squad to the Georgia Dome for a shot at a conference title. Vaught won several SEC crowns. 

Freeze took the job in Oxford on Dec. 5, 2011.  He became the Rebels’ 37th head coach, and started a string of four straight bowl appearances and a rise in the national polls.  

Freeze’s post-season wins include victories in the Sugar, Music City and BBVA Compass bowls.  

The Rebels rose to as high as No. 3 nationally in 2014 and 2015, and completed the 2016 season in the top 10 after beating Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

Highly-ranked recruiting classes, bowl games and big wins became a mainstay in Oxford under Freeze, who beat powerhouse Alabama in 2014 and 2015.

But a dropoff on the defensive side of the ball in the 2016 season led to a 5-7 record, including an embarrassing 55-20 loss in the Egg Bowl to rival Mississippi State. 

Freeze fired his offensive coordinator in December of 2016 after the season, a move that followed the retirement of his defensive coordinator Dave Wommack.

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