You grew up in Independence, an hour from Oxford. How important is the hometown connection to recruiting?
HF: Huge. Having a relationship with high school and junior college coaches here adds a great advantage.
Do recruits know you from The Blind Side, that you were Michael Oher's high school coach?
HF: If they don't, we make them aware [laughs]. It speaks to the character of our staff, that I fought for him to get into our school. Moms relate to that.
SI: OLE MISS TOUTS YOUR "INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP." WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?
HF: ONE FAVORITE IS, "THOSE BUSY ROWING THE BOAT DON'T HAVE TIME TO ROCK IT." EVERYBODY NEEDS TO GRAB AN OAR AND ROW.
You called the Rebels' coaching position a "destination job" for you. What's your most cherished memory relating to the team?
HF: When I was 10, my parents took me to get Archie Manning's autograph in DeSoto County, at a bank. I remember it vividly.
Did you tell him that when he cochaired the search committee that hired you?
HF: After it was over I shared that with him.