LAFAYETTE, La. — Liberty football coach Hugh Freeze is flying to Louisiana and will coach the Flames’ Saturday night contest against Louisiana at Cajun Field.
Flames athletic director Ian McCaw said the private jet transporting Freeze to Lafayette is scheduled to leave Lynchburg around 3:30 p.m. Freeze will arrive at Cajun Field about one hour before the scheduled 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Freeze will sit in a medical chair in the visiting coaches’ booth. The MediLuxe MD4-2000 Deluxe Treatment Chair was purchased by Liberty and delivered to Cajun Field late Friday morning.
It weighs 185 pounds and McCaw said the retail cost is nearly $5,300 before tax.
The chair is designed to be elevated and ease the stress on Freeze’s surgically repaired back.
Freeze, 49, underwent back surgery for a staph infection Aug. 16 at the University of Virginia Medical Center, almost one week after he began experiencing severe back spasms.
His Liberty coaching debut last weekend garnered national attention as he laid in a hospital bed and called plays from the home coaches’ booth at Williams Stadium against Syracuse.
Cajun Field was built in 1971, and the visiting coaches’ booth is not able to accommodate a hospital bed like the home booth at Williams Stadium.
Louisiana coach Billy Napier said earlier this week he and the university “want to do all we can to help coach Freeze. It’s a unique scenario for him.”
Freeze on Thursday spent his first extended amount of time in his office on the fifth floor of the Williams Stadium tower behind the west grandstands. It served as a test run to see how his back felt after sitting upright for a long period of time.
The Flames will implement the same plan as they ran in the opener against Syracuse: co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Maurice Harris will serve as Freeze’s proxy on the field. Freeze will call first- and second-down offensive plays, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kent Austin will call third-down plays, and Freeze will aid defensive coordinator Scott Symons on third-down and tight red-zone calls.