Liberty adds Sean 'SJ' Tuohy Jr., brother of Michael Oher, to staff

Hugh Freeze has hired Sean "SJ" Tuohy Jr., the younger brother of Michael Oher and a member of the family portrayed in "The Blind Side," to his staff as assistant athletic director of football operations at Liberty.

Freeze said Tuohy's role would involve helping out with logistics such as travel and budgets, and that he would be heavily involved in on-campus recruiting.

"Even as a young kid, people were drawn to him, and he had the kind of personality that you knew he was going to be successful at whatever he did," Freeze said. "He had some other options, so we're excited to get him here at Liberty and get started."

Tuohy was portrayed in the movie as a precocious 11-year-old who negotiated his own side deals with coaches Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Phillip Fulmer and Ed Orgeron, among others.

Freeze joked that the movie depicted SJ perfectly, but not so much Freeze.

"I'm not as goofy as the guy in the movie, but they got it right with SJ," Freeze said.

Freeze and the Tuohy family have a long relationship going back to when Freeze was the coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis and coached Oher. In fact, Freeze baptized SJ.

"I can remember being in third or fourth grade, listening to his high school pregame speech, thinking that I was ready to go play," Tuohy said on Tuesday.

Tuohy played basketball for three years at Loyola, then transferred to SMU and played football for Chad Morris while also coaching special teams. Morris then brought him to Arkansas as assistant director of football operations, similar to his new role at Liberty.

Tuohy, who graduated from Loyola and got a master's degree at SMU, says he was already working on his Ph.D. at Liberty for about eight months before Freeze was hired in December 2018. "I wish I would've been smart enough to plan that in advance," he said.

Freeze and Tuohy discussed a similar role last year, but Tuohy said he wasn't yet ready to make a move. After Morris' dismissal at Arkansas, a door opened.

"We have an opportunity to build this thing," Tuohy said. "The program's going in a pretty cool direction."

Freeze said their longtime familiarity will help that.

"It's a special connection with that entire family," Freeze said. "It's always a great feeling to hire somebody that you know and somebody that cares about you and believes in what we're doing and how we're doing it."

ESPN's Chris Low contributed to this report.