Former Auburn Football Coach Pat Dye Dead at 80
One of Auburn's most popular and successful head football coaches has died. Pat Dye has passed away in Atlanta at the age of 80.
Dye has recently tested positive for COVID-19. But his son Pat Dye Jr. told ESPN his father was asymptomatic. he had been hospitalized with kidney issues.
Dye was the third winningest coach in Auburn history. He was 99--39-4 during his tenure on the plains between 1981 and 1992. His Southeastern Conference record was 48-27-3, including four SEC titles.
Dye's overall coaching record was 153-62-5 during his head coaching stints at East Carolina and Auburn.
He was the Tiger's 22nd head football coach. He was also athletics director for 10 years.
He became instantly popular when he forced the end of the annual Iron Bowl game to be moved to Jordon-Hare Stadium in Auburn during the year the contest was an Auburn home game. It had been played in Birmingham's Legion Field.
His most famous recruit was Bo Jackson who helped Dye end a length Alabama winning streak in the rivalry and renewed interest in Auburn football.
Under pressure, Dye stepped down as Auburn’s athletic director in 1991. One year later he stepped down as the Tigers head coach after a 5-5-1 record in 1992.
Dye played college football at Georgia as a linebacker and offensive guard. After graduating from Athens, Dye spent three years playing in the Canadian Football League.
Dye's first coaching job came as an assistant head coach at the University of Alabama in 1965, under Bear Bryant. Dye served as a defensive assistant at Alabama through the 1973 season.
David Housel, former AU Athletic Director released a statement following the news of the legendary coach’s passing:
"People will talk about all the games he won, the championships and bowl games, but his greatest contribution, his legacy, is the difference he made in the lives of the people who played for him and worked with him. I am one of them. He made a difference in my life.
He came to Auburn at a time when Auburn needed leadership and focus. He provided that leadership and focus. Auburn will be forever better because of him."
Dye was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2005.