May 26, 2024

Starting the 2024 season, Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze is set to reclaim the role of play-caller, as reported by ESPN’s Chris Low. This decision follows the departure of offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery, who handled play-calling duties in 2023. Freeze explored various options but ultimately chose to take charge of the plays himself.

During SEC Media Days in July, Freeze explained his initial hiring of Montgomery, stating, “I hired Philip to call plays.” Despite Freeze’s successful track record as a play-caller in his previous coaching positions, he had relinquished those duties to Montgomery upon joining Auburn. Freeze had decided to step back from play-calling to focus more on the team’s recruiting efforts.

While this shift positively impacted Auburn’s recruiting class, ranking seventh nationally according to 247Sports, it also had drawbacks. By the end of the 2023 season, the Tigers ranked 11th in the SEC in scoring offense, with their passing offense placed at 121st nationally. This put Auburn among the bottom teams in FBS in offensive performance.

Report: Auburn's Hugh Freeze to take over play calling after Philip  Montgomery's firing - al.com

Throughout the challenging offensive season, Freeze openly expressed his struggle with not being more involved in play-calling. After a disappointing showing against Texas A&M, he admitted, “This is new for me. It’s a struggle for me.”

After a loss to Ole Miss on October 21, Freeze decided to take control of the situation, stating firmly, “This is it, this is what we’re doing.” Tuesday morning’s announcement indicates that Freeze will continue to be actively involved in play-calling during the upcoming season.

With Montgomery’s departure, Auburn still has an open spot on its offensive staff. There is speculation that Freeze may promote Kent Austin, the current special assistant to the head coach, who has a history of coaching quarterbacks – a role previously held by Montgomery.

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