Legendary Auburn football coach Pat Dye dies at 80

June 1 (UPI) -- Former Auburn football coach and athletic director Pat Dye has died at the age of 80, the school announced Monday.

Lee County (Ala.) coroner Bill Harris said the legendary coach died at a local hospice care facility from complications of kidney and liver failure.


Dye's son, Pat Dye Jr., told ESPN last month that his father recently tested positive for the coronavirus but was asymptomatic.

"On behalf of our family, I want to thank all of the people from around the country who have offered their support and admiration for Dad these past several days," Dye Jr. said in a statement Monday. "Dad would be honored and humbled to know about this overwhelming outreach. The world has lost a pretty good football coach and a great man.

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"He was beloved, he touched so many lives and he will be missed by many, especially our family."

Dye led the Auburn football program to a 99-39-4 record across 12 seasons from 1981-92, winning at least a share of SEC championships in 1983 and 1987-89. His teams won at least 10 games in a season on four occasions and six bowl games.

Dye, a three-time SEC Coach of the Year and 1983 National Coach of the Year, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

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Nick Saban, head coach of the rival Alabama Crimson Tide, paid his respects to Dye, calling him an "outstanding teacher and coach."

"I've known and respected Pat Dye for many years, and he always represented college football with tremendous class and integrity," Saban said in a statement. "He was an outstanding teacher and coach who affected our game in many significant ways.

"We are saddened to hear of his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, co-workers and all of the players he had such a positive impact on throughout his distinguished career."

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Auburn beat the Crimson Tide 23-22 in Dye's second season in 1982. Under Dye, the Tigers posted a 6-6 record against Alabama, winning four straight matchups from 1986-89.

Dye was Auburn's athletic director from 1981-91. He also coached at East Carolina from 1974-79 and Wyoming in 1980, compiling a 153-62-5 overall record in 19 seasons in his coaching career.

A native of Blythe, Ga., Dye was born Nov. 6, 1939, in Augusta, Ga. He played high school football at Richmond Academy in Augusta and was an all-state and All-American offensive lineman before becoming a two-time All-American as a two-way starter at Georgia.

Dye is survived by his four children, Missy, Brett, Wanda and Pat Jr., nine grandchildren and his partner of 18 years, Nancy McDonald.

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