Faculty Football Corridor of Famer Pat Dye, who took over a downtrodden Auburn football program in 1981 and turned it right into a Southeastern Convention energy, died Monday. He was 80.
Lee County Coroner Invoice Harris mentioned Dye died at a hospice care facility in Auburn from issues of kidney and liver failure. Harris mentioned Dye examined optimistic for COVID-19 after being admitted to the hospital for renal issues, however was asymptomatic.
When Dye got here to Auburn, he inherited a program that was deeply divided after solely three successful seasons within the earlier six years. In 12 years, he had a 99-39-Four report, Auburn received or shared 4 convention titles and the Tigers had been ranked in The Related Press’ Prime 10 5 occasions.
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Dye’s total teaching report was 153-62-5 in 17 years at Auburn, Wyoming and East Carolina. He was inducted into the Faculty Football Corridor of Fame in 2005.
“On behalf of our family, I want to thank all of the people from around the country who have offered their support and admiration for dad these past several days,” said Dye’s son, Pat Dye Jr. “Dad would be honored and humbled to know about this overwhelming outreach. The world has lost a pretty good football coach and a great man. He was beloved, he touched so many lives and he will be missed by many, especially our family.”
Dye’s teaching profession led to November 1992 when he was compelled to resign after a pay-for-play scandal rocked the Auburn program, which was positioned on two years’ probation.
Dye served as athletic director in addition to a coach for many of his profession with Auburn. He remained related to the college after his resignation and was a frequent commentator on football talk-radio exhibits.
Auburn was solely 5-6 in Dye’s first season, but it surely rapidly rotated. In 1982, the Tigers had been 9-3, defeated arch-rival Alabama for the primary time in 10 years, and made their first bowl journey since 1974.
By the following season, Auburn was again on high within the Southeastern Convention — a league that had been dominated for greater than 20 years by Bear Bryant and the staff on the opposite aspect of the state, Alabama.
Over the following seven years, there can be three extra SEC titles in a row, from 1987-89, and a bunch of particular person awards for his gamers. Working again Bo Jackson received the Heisman Trophy in 1985, defensive lineman Tracy Rocker took dwelling each the Outland and Lombardi trophies in 1988, and linebacker Aundray Bruce was the No. 1 decide within the 1988 NFL draft.
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In 1989, Dye realized one other dream when Alabama made its first journey ever to Auburn. The Tigers received the historic sport 30-20, ending Alabama’s quest for an ideal report and nationwide championship.
The “Iron Bowl” collection, which had been performed yearly in Birmingham since 1948, started being performed at Jordan-Hare Stadium each different 12 months starting in 1993.
“He’s one of the people that changed the direction of that rivalry,” mentioned David Housel, Auburn’s sports activities data director underneath Dye who ultimately grew to become athletic director. “Alabama had received 9 years in a row; he broke that streak. And he was instrumental in getting the sport to Auburn.
“Getting that game here has made all the difference not only for Auburn but also for Alabama. As he often pointed out, Alabama wouldn’t have that fine facility they have over there (Bryant-Denny Stadium) — and it’s really great — if they were still playing Auburn in Birmingham.”
Auburn performs on Pat Dye Discipline at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The college put his title on it in 2005.
The one factor that eluded Dye was a nationwide championship. His groups completed within the Prime 10 5 occasions however by no means held the highest spot. In 1983, the 11-1 Tigers that includes Bo Jackson had been No. 3 — and remained there regardless of successful their bowl sport whereas Nos. 1 and a pair of misplaced. Miami leapfrogged to the highest of the AP ballot with its thrilling 31-30 victory over then-top ranked Nebraska.
In 1990, the Tigers had been the selection of some prognosticators to win all of it, however they fell from the nationwide championship image with a tie and three losses — together with the primary setback to Alabama after 4 straight wins.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recalled Dye as “a fantastic man, coach, and member of the Auburn household.”
“Not only was he a phenomenal football coach, but an even better person,” Ivey mentioned. “For years, I have known Pat personally and have always valued his friendship and colorful commentary. He had great takes on both football and life.”
Dye is survived by his 4 youngsters, Pat Jr., Missy, Brett and Wanda; 9 grandchildren; and his companion of 18 years, Nancy McDonald.
The Crooked Oaks Legacy Basis has been established to honor Dye.