Legendary College Football Hall of Face coach Pat Dye died June 1 in Auburn as a result of liver and kidney failure at the age of 79. While asymptomatic, Dye tested positive for the Covid-19 virus after he was admitted to the hospital.
Dye became the head coach at Auburn University in 1981 and led the program to become one of the powerhouse schools in the Southeastern Conference. In 12 years as the head coach at Auburn, Dye had a record of 99 wins, 39 losses, and four ties; four SEC titles, and the Auburn Tigers ranked in the top 10 AP poll five times.
Dye also coached at Wyoming and East Carolina. In his 17 year coaching career, Dye amassed 153 wins, 62 losses, and five ties. He was inducted into the Collage Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
Dye retired from coaching in 1992 after a pay for play scandal at Auburn that saw the school receiving a two year probation.
During his career, Dye coached hundreds of football players including Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson, Outland and Lombardi trophy winners Tracy Rocker, and number one draft pick Aundray Bruce.
Other accomplishments include being instrumental is ending the annual Iron Bowl held at Legion Field in Birmingham for the Alabama/Auburn game and making it a home/home game with Alabama and Auburn sharing homefield advantage, alternating between Bryant-Denny and Jordan-Hare Stadiums. The playing field at Jordan-Hare Stadium bares Pat Dye’s name.
Born Patrick Fain Dye on November 6, 1939 in Augusta, Georgia; Dye attended the University of Georgia playing both offense and defense before playing professional football in the Canadian Football League. His coaching career began at the University of Alabama as a linebacker coach and recruiter for Coach Bear Bryant.
Dye’s survivors include partner of 18 years Nancy, children – Pat Jr, Missy, Brett, and Wanda -, and nine grandchildren.
feature photo credit: Auburn football Facebook page