Liberty head football coach Hugh Freeze arrives to coach from a wheelchair in the coaches' box against Syracuse in an NCAA college football game in Lynchburg, Va., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Bell)

Freeze to coach Flames from hospital bed vs. No. 22 Syracuse

August 31, 2019 - 5:14 pm

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Liberty coach Hugh Freeze will make his coaching debut for the Flames in a hospital bed set up in the coaches' box on Saturday night. The bed is being used to support his healing back.

The Flames are hosting No. 22 Syracuse in what is arguably the biggest game in Liberty history.

Freeze missed nearly two weeks of practice because of a herniated disk in his back. He had surgery six days after first missing practice, and doctors discovered he also had a serious staph infection.

Freeze arrived at the stadium in a wheelchair a little more than an hour before kickoff. The school set up cameras and audio equipment in the coaches' box that allow him to watch practice from several camera angles and communicate with coaches and players.

He planned to address the team by video before the game, at halftime and afterward, the school said, and would also address the media via a video hook-up.

Lynchburg's IT department set up similar equipment for Freeze in a local hotel room where he has been staying because he is unable to climb the steps at his family's townhouse.


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