Jue. Feb 2nd, 2023

Much has been made in recent weeks about the status of Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. Would the leader of the Oxford rebels go to Auburn? More than a week after Kiffin said he would not take the vacant Tigers head coaching job, Hugh Freeze is now Auburn’s main focus.

Numerous reports said that Kiffin would take the Auburn job once the Egg Bowl was finished. Kiffin has made it clear that he is not going anywhere after accepting a new contract at Ole Miss.

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Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin during a game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on November 12, 2022, at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.
(Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

«This has absolutely nothing to do with money,» Kiffin told OutKick.

His new contract will average $9 million a year, with renewals that can extend the contract length to eight years. It will all be funded through a private foundation to avoid state law that allows only four-year contracts for state public employees.

Kiffin told Outkick that he told his team that, after the Egg Bowl, he would announce his intentions to stay. And that is exactly what he did.

«I told the team last week that I would announce after the game that I was staying because I wanted all this attention on them and not me,» Kiffin told OutKick. «The only reason any of this came up and became a problem was because a reporter falsely made up that I was going to Auburn.»

Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze looks towards his team during the second half of a game against Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi on November 6, 2021.

Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze looks towards his team during the second half of a game against Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi on November 6, 2021.
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Kiffin also told OutKick that his main reason for not considering other offers was his daughter Landry, who is in the middle of her senior year of high school and loves Oxford.

LANE KIFFIN SAYS HE EXPECTS TO RETURN TO OLE MISS NEXT SEASON AFTER LOSS TO MISSISSIPPI STATE

These training quests come with a number of hurdles, especially when a school only has a single training goal. But Auburn athletic director John Cohen has continued to have discussions with other candidates about the job opening. Cohen is now in the process of hiring Hugh Freeze, according to sources.

It was about more than money for Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss

As we’ve reported numerous times over the past few weeks, it wasn’t just about the money for Lane Kiffin. Family and the commitment to do something the right way were always at the forefront of her mind, but she had earned the right to speak out about Auburn’s work. It sure hasn’t been an easy situation for the Ole Miss coach, who was coming off two losses while being himself on social media. Like it or not, he knows how to make things interesting.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin on the sidelines during a game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on September 17, 2022, at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin on the sidelines during a game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on September 17, 2022, at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Yes, Kiffin has had a new contract on his desk for the last week. But, in his eyes, he needed to be managed after the season finale. There are some relationships that need to be mended at Oxford with Kiffin. But when the final decision came to be made last week, Kiffin knew the best option for his family and his coaching career was to stay at Oxford.

A lot of people will be put off by the way Kiffin handled the situation in recent weeks, but that’s just Kiffin. Why wouldn’t you take your time to make the best decision? Kiffin didn’t want to lie to anyone, and if you heard him last week, he never did.

Will Hugh Freeze get his second chance at the SEC?

After the conversation with Kiffin came to a halt, Auburn’s conversations with Hugh Freeze escalated. Hugh Freeze is hellbent on returning to the SEC after coaching Ole Miss from 2012 to 2016. It looks like Freeze will get his wish barring unforeseen circumstances.

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Don’t expect Freeze to waste his second try at the SEC. For someone who has spent years trying to rebuild his image at Liberty, this is the perfect place for Freeze to return to the game. He knows the conference and will be able to recruit at Auburn. He, too, is willing to do whatever it takes of a head coach at a school like Auburn.

This has been a whirlwind few weeks for Auburn. Now his attention is on Saturday’s Iron Bowl against Alabama and finalizing a contract with Freeze.

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