Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin took a shot at new Auburn coach Hugh Freeze on Twitter this week.
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Lane Kiffin destroys new Auburn coach on Twitter, references Hugh Freeze’s indiscretions

ATLANTA — It didn’t take long for Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin to get crossways with new Auburn coach Hugh Freeze.

In true Kiffin form, the Ole Miss coach let Freeze have it via his Twitter account on social media after the new Auburn coach took a side shot at the Rebels’ football program he once coached from 2012-2017.

“I feel like this is, no offense to another school or anything, but I feel like I’ve leapfrogged where I was at that time by being in this family and this culture here,” Freeze said. “I see this as one of the top 10 football programs in the nation.”

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Freeze left Ole Miss amid reports he called an escort service, with then-athletics director Ross Bjork telling Fox Sports the school “proactively looked into the rest of (Freeze’s) phone records and found a concerning pattern.”

Auburn hired Freeze as its new head coach this week after Kiffin dominated reports last week as the school’s leading candidate.

Dec. 5, 2011 — Freeze is named head coach at Ole Miss. He leads the Rebels to a 6-6 record in his first season after the program went 2-10 the year prior to his arrival.

Feb. 6, 2013 — Freeze’s first full recruiting class at Ole Miss, following a 6-6 record in Year 1, is ranked eighth nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings. The Rebels sign four five-star prospects: No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche, top-rated offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, No. 1 receiver Laquon Treadwell and top-five safety Tony Conner.

Feb. 5, 2014 — Freeze signs a second consecutive top-15 recruiting class.

Oct. 4, 2014 — No. 11 Ole Miss defeats third-ranked Alabama, 23-17, in Oxford, as Freeze gets the first signature win of his career with the Rebels, knocking off Nick Saban’s Tide. Ole Miss climbs to No. 3 in the AP poll the following day, the program’s highest ranking since 1964. Ole Miss finishes the season 9-4 with a trip to the Peach Bowl.

Sept. 19, 2015 — Ole Miss knocks off No. 2 Alabama, 43-37, in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Freeze becomes just the third SEC head coach to beat Saban in back-to-back seasons, joining Steve Spurrier and Les Miles. Ole Miss finishes with its best season under Freeze, going 10-3 with a Sugar Bowl berth and top-10 ranking in the final AP poll.

Jan. 21, 2016 — Freeze calls a Florida-based escort service from his university-issued cell phone. The call is discovered a year later and brought to the attention of Ole Miss administrators by the attorney for Nutt, who was suing Ole Miss for defamation.

Jan. 22, 2016 — Ole Miss receives its first Notice of Allegations from the NCAA detailing 13 violations against the football program, including nine that allegedly occurred during Freeze’s tenure.

Feb. 3, 2016 — Freeze signs a top-five recruiting class with Ole Miss that includes three five-star prospects and 12 four-star players.

Fall 2016 — Ole Miss goes 5-7, including 2-6 in the SEC to finish last in the SEC West.

Feb. 22, 2017 — Ole Miss receives a second Notice of Allegations from the NCAA containing eight new violations and one expanded one from the initial investigation. Ole Miss self-imposes a bowl ban for the 2017 season while vowing to “vigorously” contest some of the allegations levied against the program.

June 6, 2017 — Ole Miss releases its response to the NCAA, which includes a defense of Freeze, claiming he did not facilitate or participate in violations, nor did he otherwise ignore potential red flags. From the response: “Freeze developed and implemented a broad, staff-wide compliance program dedicated to satisfying the NCAA’s amended head coach responsibility legislation in early 2013, and he has continuously worked to expand and improve upon that program ever since. Those who have worked under Freeze consistently report his emphasis on compliance, including his direction to promptly involve the University’s compliance staff in their recruiting choices.”

July 20, 2017 — Freeze resigns as Ole Miss head coach after then-Rebels athletics director Ross Bjork said the university found a “concerning pattern” of behavior that was “not consistent with our expectations as the leader of our football program.”

Aug. 22, 2017 — ESPN reports that, after reviewing Freeze’s cell phone records obtained through a public records request, the disgraced former Ole Miss coach made “at least” 12 calls to escort services dating back to 2014. The calls took place over a 33-month period beginning in April 2014 and typically lasted two minutes or less.

Dec. 1, 2017 — Ole Miss receives punishment from the NCAA for lack of institutional control and “an unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting,” while hitting the program with three years of probation, a monetary penalty, a postseason ban in 2018, a suspension for Freeze (had he been on staff with an SEC team in 2018), scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions, show-cause penalties for various staffers and the vacation of 33 wins between 2010-16 — most of them during Freeze’s tenure — in which ineligible players saw the field.

January 2018 — Freeze meets with at least five SEC teams about on-field positions. Among them is Alabama, which targeted Freeze for its co-offensive coordinator opening. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey cautioned against the move, believing it would be a bad look for the conference to have Freeze on staff with a program while Ole Miss served out its NCAA penalties. An SEC bylaw required school presidents and chancellors to consult directly with him before offering a job to any coach “who has engaged in unethical conduct as defined under NCAA bylaws or who has participated in activity that resulted, or may result, in a Level I, Level II or major infraction.”

Dec. 7, 2018 — Freeze is named head coach at Liberty, which was completing its transition to the FBS. Liberty goes 7-5 and earns its first-ever bowl berth in his first season.

Aug. 31, 2019 — Freeze coaches Liberty’s season opener against Syracuse from a hospital bed in the coaches booth while still recovering from surgery to treat a staph infection a couple weeks earlier. Liberty lost, 24-0, but the image of Freeze coaching from the bed went viral.

Dec. 10, 2019 — Freeze signs a five-year extension with Liberty, making him one of the top-paid Group of Five coaches.

2020 — Liberty puts together a 10-win season in Freeze’s second year, led by former Auburn quarterback transfer Malik Willis. The Flames earn their first-ever ranking in the AP poll and finish the season ranked 17th in the country.

Nov. 23, 2021 — Freeze signs another extension with Liberty through the 2028 season, bumping his average annual salary to more than $4 million.

July 2022 — Freeze sends an unsolicited direct message to Chelsea Andrews, a former Liberty student and alleged sexual assault victim who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the university regarding its handling of sexual assault cases and Title IX claims. Liberty University is currently under federal investigation by the Department of Education as a result of the lawsuit. Andrews, who has been outspoken about the university’s leadership and its athletics department. which is led by former Baylor AD Ian McCaw — who was in charge in Waco, Texas, during that football program’s sexual assault scandal. Freeze defended McCaw in his message to Andrews, calling him “the most Jesus-like leader” he has been around.

RELATED: Chelsea Andrews: Auburn never asked about Hugh Freeze messages defending Liberty’s Ian McCaw

Oct. 28, 2022 — Liberty signs Freeze to a contract extension through the 2030 season. The deal is reportedly worth just under $5 million per season, and it would make him the highest-paid Group of Five coach in 2023.

Nov. 5, 2022 — Liberty defeats Arkansas on the road, 21-19, giving Freeze his first win against an SEC opponent since he resigned at Ole Miss. After the game, he discusses the recently opened job at Auburn, which fired Bryan Harsin less than a week earlier. Freeze tells 247Sports about the position: “I don’t know that Auburn wants me. I have no clue. I know this: I have won everywhere I’ve been, and my staff and kids have turned programs fast. It’s our culture that we instill. I know we do that, and the proof is in the pudding.”

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