LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Liberty Flames fell to Syracuse on Saturday night in their season opener. Leading up to the game, a lot of questions surrounded around head coach Hugh Freeze, who recently underwent back surgery, and whether he would be coaching from the box or the field.
On Saturday, Freeze ended up coaching from a hospital bed in the Liberty box. He was also able to video chat with his players in the locker room.
Freeze said he called most of the first and second down plays on offense and was the eyes and ears on defense, letting his coaches know what he was seeing on third down.
At the end of the game, Freeze told the media his back felt good and that he was thankful for whoever's idea it was to have him coach from the hospital bed.
"The ideas that they came up with and just continued to think through every possible scenario about how we can make this thing continue to work... And they did. I'm just really blown away," Freeze said.
Wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden said Freeze being in the box didn't change very much, "Our coaches have been great the weeks he's been gone so it wasn't anything that was going to be new."
"We knew he was going to be able to communicate to them and us through the headset. It would have been great to have him on the sidelines, but it wasn't anything we weren't used to at least for the past few weeks," Gandy-Golden said.
"You know he was doing his job. I respect him as a man, as a coach. He's a great coach," quarterback Stephen Calvert said. "For him to be able to call the plays up there in the hospital bed, I've got nothing but respect for him."