All-American college football player at the University of Georgia, professional football player with the Edmonton Eskimos, 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army, and renowned Auburn University head coach – there isn’t much that Pat Dye hasn’t accomplished. Coach Dye grew up in Augusta, Georgia and attended Richmond Academy where he was pinned as an All-State and All-American lineman after leading his team to victory in the 1956 Georgia State Championship; Pat Dye experienced success at an early age and the success didn’t end there.
After attaining high honors as a high school athlete, Coach Dye followed suit as a two-way starter, at offensive guard and linebacker, for the University of Georgia garnering many accolades such as being named All-American, All-SEC, and Academic All-American twice. He was even picked the SEC Lineman of the Year in 1960. After playing in three All-Star games as a senior, Dye joined the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League in 1961 and continued his success as a two-way starter.
Many of the characteristics that anchored Dye into a permanent place in Georgia football history as a player crossed over into his desire to focus on the intellect and coaching side of the game. After working as an Assistant Coach for nine years at the University of Alabama, under the great Paul “Bear” Bryant (1965-1973), Dye got his first taste of success as a Head Coach at East Carolina University in 1974. With East Carolina, Coach Dye led the Pirates to their first bowl game in thirteen years. After compiling a 48-18-1 record at East Carolina, Dye accepted the Head Coaching job at the University of Wyoming in 1980. After grasping the Cowboys first winning season in eight years, the Auburn Tigers took notice. In 1981, the Georgia native accepted the job as the Head Coach of Auburn University, where much of coaching legacy lies.
While at Auburn, Dye achieved what some only dream about. From 1981-1992, Dye amassed a 99-39-4 record and captured four SEC Championships, which were prefaced by four 10-win seasons. During his tenure at Auburn, Dye led the Tigers to nine consecutive bowl games and compiled the first four game winning streak against the rival Alabama Crimson Tide since 1958. Dye was named the National Coach of the Year in 1983 to go along with multiple SEC Coach of the Year awards. He produced 21 All-Americans, 71 All-SEC players, and 85 NFL players, one of which, Vincent “Bo” Jackson, won the Heisman Trophy. In 1985 and 1987 respectively, Dye was inducted into the Alabama and Georgia Sports Hall’s of Fame.
After receiving numerous inductions into various Hall’s of Fame, Dye was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. To go along with this special year, the ultimate sign of respect was donned on Dye by Auburn University, when in 2005, the University named the playing field after him: “Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium”.
Today, Dye still enjoys family, friends, and Auburn University. He is very active in the community and at Auburn to this day.