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After inheriting a team that won two games in 2011 and had lost 14 consecutive SEC contests, Freeze guided the Rebels to four straight bowl games in his first four years -- the first Ole Miss coach to do so.Ole Miss was one of only five FBS programs in the country to make consecutive New Year's Six bowl appearances in the first two years of the College Football Playoff.Ole Miss agreed to forfeit its share of SEC postseason revenues for this coming season, which could be as much as .8 million, after it had already self-imposed a double-digit reduction in scholarships for football in May 2016 as part of its response to an NCAA notice of allegations it received in January 2016.Freeze had a 39-25 record in six seasons with the Rebels, including a 19-21 mark against SEC foes.Ole Miss chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, in a Thursday night news conference announcing the move, said Freeze, 47, resigned after confirming to him and athletic director Ross Bjork "a pattern of personal misconduct inconsistent with the standards we expect from the leader of our football team.""While Coach Freeze served our university well in many regards during his tenure, we simply cannot accept the conduct in his personal life that we have discovered," Vitter said.Bjork and Vitter met with Freeze on Wednesday night and again on Thursday, when Freeze offered his resignation.Freeze probably faced a multigame suspension this coming season if he were found guilty of failing to monitor his staff.The Rebels are expected to appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis later this summer, possibly in September.
"It was troubling."Bjork, speaking alongside Vitter at the news conference, called it a "sad" and "unexpected" day for Ole Miss.
In six seasons, Freeze guided the Rebels to unprecedented heights, but his success was also sullied by an ongoing NCAA investigation.
In February, the school self-imposed a one-year bowl ban for the 2017 season after it received a new NCAA notice of allegations that accused the school of lack of institutional control and Freeze of failure to monitor his coaching staff.
Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigned effective immediately on Thursday night, with the Rebels' athletic director telling ESPN that school officials found a pattern that included phone calls to a number associated with a female escort service.
Assistant head coach Matt Luke, in his sixth season as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, was named interim head coach.After going 10-3 in 2015, Ole Miss slipped to 5-7 this past season.