Auburn football coaching shuffle sees Hugh Freeze take over play-calling, analyst promoted to QB coach

The January 5 Auburn football coaching shuffle resulted in Hugh Freeze taking over lead play-calling duties and an analyst being promoted to QB coach.
Auburn v Vanderbilt
Auburn v Vanderbilt / Johnnie Izquierdo/GettyImages

Hugh Freeze's Auburn football program underwent serious changes on January 5. Offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery was let go, and in his stead, Freeze called his own number as lead play-caller.

As 247Sports's Matt Zenitz reported, those weren't the only changes made to the coaching staff. Tigers analyst Kent Austin ascended to the quarterbacks coach.

"Final decision hasn’t been made yet, but Hugh Freeze is likely to take over offensive play-calling for Auburn, sources tell 247Sports," Zenitz wrote. "It’s also currently looking likely that Tigers analyst Kent Austin is going to end up getting promoted to QB coach, per sources. Austin was co-OC and QB coach under Freeze at Liberty. Has also been a head coach at Cornell and offensive coordinator at Ole Miss."

Freeze had positive character judgements on Montgomery upon his dismissal.

"I informed Philip today he would not be retained as our offensive coordinator,” Freeze said (h/t Auburn Wire). “Philip is a good coach and a good man. Decisions like this are never easy, however, I decided this is best for our program moving forward. I’m appreciative of his efforts this past year and wish him nothing but the best.”

Derrick Nix could be Auburn football coaching target for Hugh Freeze

Auburn Daily's Lance Dawe believes that Austin only being named QB coach leaves the door open for long-time Freeze assistant Derrick Nix to become offensive coordinator.

"With Austin being promoted to QB coach, and not offensive coordinator, it seems more likely that Ole Miss wide receivers' coach Derrick Nix will be Auburn's primary target as the next OC," Dawe wrote.

Nix or not, the Tigers need someone who can help gameplan for Freeze -- who's made it a habit to let fans know he didn't spend time doing so before games in 2023 because he was too busy recruiting -- next season.