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Arizona Hotshots name assistant coaches, hire Hugh Freeze as OC

(AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

The Arizona Hotshots and head coach Rick Neuheisel announced the hiring of several assistant coaches on Tuesday.

Among them was Hugh Freeze, the head coach of Ole Miss from 2012-16. He will serve as the offensive coordinator.

Freeze took Ole Miss to new heights, including a 3-1 bowl record and a 2014 Peach Bowl appearance, the first major bowl game for the program in 45 years, and a Sugar Bowl victory the next year.

The Rebels went 39-25 under him.

However, Freeze resigned after five seasons when the school found “a pattern” of phone calls to a female escort service on his university-issued phone, according to ESPN. Additionally, the outlet reported, the NCAA accused Ole Miss football of 21 rules violations by former or current members of the coaching staff.

Freeze and the school were also the target of a civil lawsuit from former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

The other Hotshot coaching vacancies filled Tuesday were Nick Aliotti as defensive coordinator, Tim Hundley as linebackers coach, Ron Aikin as defensive line coach, Chris Reinert as offensive assistant coach and Steve Axman as the quarterback coach and offensive assistant coach.

Aliotti is best-known for serving as the Oregon defensive coordinator from 1999-2013.

In addition, he was the special teams coordinator for the St. Louis Rams from 1995-97 and coached in assistant capacities for several universities including Oregon State and UCLA.

Hundley was a defensive coordinator for 16 years for FBS programs and coached at universities including Nevada, Oregon State, UCLA, Colorado, Washington and UTEP.

Aiken has Arizona roots, working with the Cardinals defensive line from 2007-12 and coaching at Chandler Valley Christian. He also coached at universities including New Mexico, Texas and San Diego State.

Aiken was also named the AFCA Div. I FBS Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002 with Iowa.

Reinert coached with UCLA from 2011-13, working for the latter two years as a graduate assistant, and then worked in different capacities on offense and defense for Washington State for the next two seasons.

Over the last two years, he coached special teams at UCLA.

Axman has worked for high school, collegiate and professional teams for more than 40 years, including Perry High School (Gilbert), NAU, Washington, Stanford and Army.


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