Hugh Freeze created his funeral to make a point to his Ole Miss players

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday August 23, 2016


To get his players to understand goals and how to reach them, Hugh Freeze portrayed his own death — sort of.

Freeze said Tuesday that he described a scene for his funeral and what he would want people to say about him. That’s his goal, and he said he has to recognize how to get there. The same goes for what players want out of football.

“I created a funeral scene for me and showed it all our players. The whole purpose is understanding whatever you believe drives your behaviors, and your behaviors drive your performance, and your performance will give you some result,” Freeze said. “We need to work backward. You need to say, ‘This is the result I really want, now are my beliefs and my behaviors going to get me that result?’ So I created my funeral scene. A lot of that had to do with the events of these past few weeks (the death of six Oxford residents in a plane crash). It’s coming. It happens. We don’t know when it happens, but we won’t cheat death.

“So I wrote on the screen at our commitment service, ‘This is the result I want at my funeral.’ This is what I want my wife to say about me, this is what I want my kids to say about me, this is what I want our players to say about me, this is what I want my parents to say about me. The rest of the people are probably, no offense, insignificant. But is this what they would say about me today? If not, I have time to make sure my beliefs that are creating my behaviors are going to get me the result I want.


(Freeze tweeted the slide on Wednesday)

Freeze said he’s done a few exercises this year to get the team more connected. The funeral scene was the latest example.

“It’s the same way with a team and football players. What result do you want?” he said. “Now let’s go look. Are your behaviors and beliefs going to get you there?”

That’s certainly an intense way of looking at things, but Freeze seemed to believe the point got across.

Ole Miss opens the season against Florida State on Monday, Sept. 5, followed by home games against Wofford, Alabama, Georgia and Memphis.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.