By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
Liberty is hiring Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell to replace Hugh Freeze as the Flames’ head coach.
A person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday that a deal was done but spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement from Liberty was still in the works. The school scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference.
Freeze left Liberty after four years to accept the same position at Auburn.
Chadwell, a former college quarterback known for his innovative approach to offense, was the AP’s Coach of the Year in 2020. He has guided the Chanticleers to new heights over the past three seasons, leading them to a 31-6 record and a likely third consecutive bowl game. The Chants appeared at No. 23 in the AP Top 25 two weeks ago but lost 47-7 at James Madison in their regular-season finale with starting quarterback and three-time Sun Belt player of the year Grayson McCall sidelined.
They were beat again Saturday, with McCall back in the lineup, 45-26, by Troy in the Sun Belt Conference championship game. Chadwell’s overall record at Coastal is 39-22.
Chadwell also has guided programs at North Greenville, Delta State and Charleston Southern and has a career mark of 99-57 as a head coach.
At Charleston Southern, Chadwell was suspended for one game in 2016 by the university for violating NCAA social media rules regarding improper contact with recruits. He left after the season for an assistant’s job at Coastal Carolina, and a year later Charleston Southern was forced to vacate 18 victories over a two-year period for NCAA violations.
The Flames’ job undoubtedly became more attractive after four seasons under Freeze.
Liberty was ranked for a time in the AP Top 25 this year, winning eight of its first nine games, including a home rout of BYU and a road win at Arkansas, but closed the season with three straight losses, the last by 49-14 to New Mexico State after news broke that Freeze likely was leaving. The Flames will make their fourth bowl appearance in a row this year — they have won the first three — and are moving to Conference USA next season.
AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.
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