JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The rumors that have been circulating amongst Arkansas State University fans has been made official. The year long reign of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze has officially come to an end. The first year head coach had turned the ASU football program around this season. Monday afternoon, we talked with students and fans. Many were not ready to let him go.
A dark cloud fell on the ASU campus Monday afternoon, and while the temperatures have dropped. ASU students and fans can no longer "Feel the Freeze."
"I mean, after such a successful season, you're obviously going to attract a lot of attention from other schools," said Jamelle Shaw, who is a student at ASU.
And while Shaw hoped the rumors of Coach Freeze's Departure were not true, he felt it coming. "He already had a personal relationship with the school. So, I mean, when Ole Miss called him and said we want you as a coach that was pretty much his calling," said Shaw.
We spent some time in the ASU Student Union, talking with students as they made their way to class. Some say they don't blame Freeze for taking the big jump into the SEC.
"I'd do it too. Probably a big school, more money," said student Tanner Rigdon.
"It's the sunbelt and that's the SEC. That's one of the hardest conferences in college football," said ASU fan David Harris.
But with the Godaddy.com Bowl Game just about a month away, others, like Madison Neely, have their concerns.
"It's an opportunity for him to fulfill his dream, but it's sad for the football team. I wish he would have stayed until after the bowl game. I feel like the team is upset about it and not going to be completely focused on the game," said Neely.
We ran into ASU defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers. We ask about how the team had handled the news. "It's mixed emotions. Some are more spiteful than others, but I guess overall you couldn't be mad at the decision he made," said Carrethers.
He said the team had speculations throughout season that this would happen, but didn't know Freeze's stay would be so short lived. "I never knew it would come to a conclusion until the very end. It was made official yesterday, but we had a position meeting this morning that made it final," said Carrethers.
And while Carrethers says, for team, the news it still sinking in. They have their eye on the big picture. "We are disappointed of course, but the main duty is just to stay focused and get ready for this bowl game. That's our main priority right now," said Carrethers.
As for the fans, they say it's not the just the coach that makes the team, but the players. "They know the plays. They know the system. They will be fine," said Rigdon.