Freeze talks Dave Wommack

I am working on the Dave Wommack feature this morning while the air conditioning repair man works on my unit.

I have worked on several aspects of this feature for some time, planning it for that time in the summer when things slow down a little bit. I sat down with Dave several weeks ago.

There are some interesting connections in the background that led to Dave’s eventual hiring at Ole Miss.

One, he was encouraged to approach Freeze about the coordinator’s vacancy at Arkansas State by former Ole Miss defensive coordinator John Thompson and current Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who many will remember as the former Springdale High coach hired by Houston Nutt as offensive coordinator at Arkansas. That didn’t go well.

Eventually Nutt would be at Ole Miss, Malzahn at Auburn.

Malzahn was someone Freeze spoke to regarding Wommack, and so was Tyrone Nix, who played for Wommack at Southern Miss.

Freeze eventually worked through some initially age-related misgivings about hiring Wommack. Together they were a big success at Arkansas State in 2011, so much success that they supplanted Nutt and Nix at Ole Miss.

Coaching jobs always take a lot of twists and turns.

Here’s Freeze on his initial thoughts about what he would do with his coordinator position at Arkansas State: “I was very reluctant at first. I kind of had the mindset that I wanted to go after a young go-getter, an energetic guy. Dave made contact with me and told me of his interest. I reached out to Gus and people that knew him, Tyrone Nix and some others that he coached. I talked to a lot of people, and it kept coming back how solid he was. I finally decided to interview him and ended up feeling that he was the best fit for me. It’s probably good that I didn’t go with a young energetic guy. We probably would not have balanced as well as Dave and I have.”

The Wommack feature will eventually appear in the Journal on a day when there’s a lot of space in the section.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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