Rebel Road Trip Tupelo stop


A few highlights from the Rebel Road Trip Tupelo Stop …

Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork near the beginning of his time on the podium shared with the crowd that he received a call around 11 a.m. that confirmed that athletics would be receiving a $2 million gift.

The gift brings the Forward Together campaign fund total to $110 million. Bjork said he wants to be at $120 million before breaking ground on the north end zone project of the football stadium. He’s hopeful work can begin on the stadium after this season.

On the subject of fund-raising, Bjork mentioned that the dirt dug up on the stadium’s west side to build the basketball arena has been sold to the contractor who is redeveloping Old Taylor Road.

“That’s 60 yards of dirt,” Bjork said.

Here’s Bjork:


Women’s basketball coach and football coach Hugh Freeze also spoke.

Here’s Bjork on Insell: “He had somebody tell him with four or five games left why are you coaching your team so hard, why haven’t you given up and started focusing on next year? He said, ‘I’m trying to win an SEC championship this year in Duluth.’ That’s the man I want coaching our team.”

Insell spoke about the growth of the program and said Freeze is a good friend and that he helps with women’s basketball recruiting.

“I don’t use the word rebuilding, because we’re remodeling. We have a great foundation,” Insells aid.

Insell also played off his age to a crowd that was generally much older. “I’ll be turning 14 in the summer,” said Insell, who is 31.

Freeze drew a standing ovation from a packed crowd at the BancorpSouth Arena before and after he spoke.

“It’ great to be here. This is kind of like home base,” Freeze said.

Freeze spoke about the importance of unity within the school and its fan base.

“If you’re not on the same road going in the same direction it’s difficult to get where you want to go.

There’s the left lane and the right lane. Seldom are we all on the yellow line together and agreeing on everything. That’s not our point. Our point is be sure we’re going on the same road, going in the same direction and arriving at the same spot.”

Freeze continued: “When Ross talks about being uncommon, I don’t know what your strengths are, but I know you have something that is of value to us and to the place you love, something you can give. Here would be my challenge to you: Do what you have been doing and one extra thing. I don’t know if that is buy another season ticket and giving to kid that cannot afford to be there, or writing encouraging notes to someone, a kid or player, or praying one time a week for a set of people, or maybe giving a million dollars, I don’t know, but it is possible for you to do what you’ve been doing and one extra thing.”

Freeze also challenged the group this way.

“We cannot let the critics take your focus off the journey. The minute we start finding where all of us want to go the critics come out from everywhere. I get it every single day. It’s angry and frustrating. I am learning. We cannot let criticism take our focus off where we are going.”


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.

Posted in Athletics
  • karl hungus

    110 million!?! Look for another top 5 recruiting class in 2015.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      you tell them,Karl. They can not get anything past you. Great post.

  • JB

    What does Ole miss have that would attract the top recruiting class of 2015? i Was born and raised in Oxford left and went into the Air Force a much better place than those hot cotton field in Lafayette county at the least the AF let me and wife see England and Europe and much of this beautiful country of ours. we will be returning to Oxford in May to attend her family reunion, maybe see some ole miss baseball. rebels got a big job to do this weekend with LSU.

    • karl hungus

      110 million tends to help get a top 5 recruiting class. You just have to make sure there’s no trail.

      • Ilovebulldoglosers

        Karl, is that more money than every other school has? Are they paying it all out in bribes? Tell me please, I want to know. I trust what you say. Just think how many trailers we could put up in Starkville for 110 million dollars!

  • rcpylon

    Freeze impressed me once again. Not as a coach but as a person. He’s either the real deal or an imposter of the greatest magnitude…..ill go with real person.

    If the football thing doesn’t work out for him he could blow tony robbins away or make a great preacher.

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