The college football world lost a legend today with the passing of former Auburn Tigers head coach Pat Dye.
Dye entered the hospital in May for kidney issues. During his stay, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. On Monday, Dye passed away at the age of 80.
From 1981-1992, Dye manned the sidelines for AU, reviving the Tiger program. During that time, he compiled an overall record of 99-39-4 and led Auburn to four SEC titles, including three in a row from 1987-89.
Dye’s teams reached nine bowl games, going 6-2-1 in postseason play. The Blythe, Ga., native and University of Georgia alum was also named SEC Coach of the Year three times. Dye went 6-6 against Alabama, including four straight wins from 1986-89.
As news of Dye’s death began circulating, tributes began pouring in from around the college football world. You can read some of them below.
Nobody in the history of the SEC teleconference ever sounded more like a quintessential Southern football Coach than Pat Dye. RIP. https://t.co/jnzFjEz0sv
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) June 1, 2020
In the 6 years before hiring Pat Dye, Auburn won 5 games per year with an avg SP+ ranking of 66.8.
He improved them to 47th in his first year and 24th in his second, then ripped off 7 years with an avg rank of 7th, 5 AP top-10 finishes, and 10 wins per year. pic.twitter.com/af03tyLyh7
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) June 1, 2020
Simply put, Auburn football would not be where it is today without Pat Dye. He redefined our university as very few have.
Rest In Peace, Coach. pic.twitter.com/FHeyvlTX15
— Will Gibson (@WGibson11) June 1, 2020
— Jim Dunaway (@jimdunaway) June 1, 2020
RIP Coach Pat Dye. Yes, he won four SEC championships but his greatest accomplishment, IMO, was getting Auburn's home games in the Iron Bowl moved to Jordan-Hare Stadium. That changed the Auburn-Alabama rivalry forever. https://t.co/oE3pndyT4u
— Tony Barnhart (@MrCFB) June 1, 2020
— WSFA 12 Sports (@wsfa12sports) June 1, 2020
Prayers are with the family of Coach Pat Dye and @AuburnU family in the loss of a true legend. Coach loved his former players like no other. Blessed to gain and be around his wisdom for six years. “I don’t believe in miracles, I believe in character.” pic.twitter.com/K6BnS5dXDm
— Tim Horton (@CoachTimHorton) June 1, 2020
Pat Dye is largely responsible for Auburn’s current position among the best CFB programs.
He built the best program in the SEC during the 80’s, won four SEC titles, and produced a Heisman winner.
Before Dye, Auburn was 17-27 against Alabama. Since Dye arrived, Auburn is 20-19.
— Justin Hokanson (@_JHokanson) June 1, 2020
It is safe to say that Auburn’s stature in college football wouldn’t be what it is without Dye. He laid the groundwork for the program to return to glory, as it had been more than 20 years since the Tigers last won the SEC before Dye was hired.
Additionally, AU had a losing record in four of the six seasons prior to Dye getting the job. His impact was profound.
Rest in peace, Coach.