MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Jordan-Hare Stadium won’t quite be the same again after the passing of former Auburn coach Pat Dye. Dye died on Monday from renal failure.
Many are remembering the legend.
“That was his great gift," said Jeff Shearer, senior writer at auburntigers.com. "He was a people person.”
Dye had 99 wins, four SEC championships and four double-digit win seasons over 12 years beginning in 1981. It was Dye who played a vital role in getting the Iron Bowl moved from Legion Field in Birmingham to Auburn and Tuscaloosa. The first Iron Bowl away from Birmingham was played in Auburn in 1989.
“He made his mark on the Southeastern Conference at Auburn University," Shearer said. "He loved living in the community and raising Japanese maples.”
Mike Jernigan wrote a book about the former coach. “After The Arena” is 223 pages worth of stories told by Dye long after his time on the gridiron. One story Dye talked about was his friendship with famed author Harper Lee.
“I think he just wanted to tell stories, tell some stories he didn’t tell the first time," Jernigan said. "He could keep you occupied all day telling you stories.”
“After The Arena” is the sequel to “In The Arena” published in 1992 shortly before Dye’s last season as Auburn’s head football coach.
Dye didn’t just win at Auburn; he was the epitome of “tough love.” Tommie Agee will never forget his former coach.
“It was tough," he said. "It was tough.”
Agee is the one who bulldozed opponents to make running room for a fella named Bo.
“He was a father figure for a lot of those guys away from home and he took that very seriously,” Agee said.
A few years ago Dye said he was at peace with his life and more or less articulated those words when he addressed the Auburn football team the night before the Iron Bowl last November.
The legendary coach, the gentleman farmer, and a counselor to many players, gone at 80.