(WRBL) – Pat Dye, one of the the most beloved Auburn football coaches, has died at the age of 80.
Pat Dye’s football journey started in Georgia. He was an All-American football player at Richmond Academy in Augusta and led them to the Class 3A State Championship in 1956. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution selected Dye as Georgia’s 3A Lineman of the Year of 1956.
Dye went to play college football for the Georgia Bulldogs where he played offensive guard and linebacker. He continued to find success on the grid iron winning multiple individual awards including SEC Lineman of the Year and was a two-time William K. Jenkins Award for the Outstanding Georgia Lineman. Dye helped the Dawgs win the SEC Championship and win the Orange Bowl in 1959.
After graduating from Athens, Dye spent three years playing in the Canadian Football League. He served his country in the US Army from 1963-1964.
He then started his coaching career in 1965 as the linebackers for the University of Alabama. He spent 8 years in Tuscaloosa as a assistant coach then earned his first head coaching position at East Carolina.
Dye spent 19 seasons as a head coach but he is mostly known for the 12 seasons leading the Auburn Tigers from 1981-1992. During his time on the plains Coach Dye led the Tigers to four SEC titles. He won one a 1983 and a 3-peat of SEC Titles from 1987-89. Coach Dye’s Tigers finished the season ranked in the Associated Press Top-20 eight times, and Auburn had five top-10 finishes.
He also was a three-time SEC Coach of the Year (1983, 1987, 1988). Coach Dye was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Even while Coach Dye was leading the Auburn Football team he was also the Auburn University Athletic Director from 1981-1991.
Coach 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. His final record as a coach at Auburn was 99-39-4.
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.David Housel