Pat Dye
Biographical details
Born (1939-11-06) November 6, 1939 (age 80)
Blythe, Georgia
Playing career
Edmonton Eskimos
Position(s)Defensive guard, linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Alabama (assistant)
East Carolina
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall153–62–5 (.707)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
1 SoCon (1976)
4 SEC (1983, 1987–1989)
All-American, 1959
3x SEC Coach of the Year (1983, 1987–1988)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2005 (profile)

Patrick Fain Dye (born November 6, 1939) is a former American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at East Carolina University (1974–1979), the University of Wyoming (1980), and Auburn University (1981–1992) compiling a career college football record of 153–62–5. Dye also served as the athletic director at Auburn from 1981 to 1991. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2005.

Playing careerEdit

Dye played high school football at Richmond Academy where he was selected All-American and All-State while leading the team to the 1956 3A state championship serving as team captain. Following this success, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution selected Dye as Georgia's 3A Lineman of the Year for 1956 before being recruited to the University of Georgia. While playing for the Bulldogs under head coach Wally Butts, Dye was a first-team All-SEC lineman and two-time All-American (1959 and 1960). The Atlanta Touchdown Club named him the SEC's Most Valuable Lineman in 1960. Upon graduation from Georgia, Dye played three years of professional football as a linebacker for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League.

Assistant coachEdit

Dye's first coaching job came as an assistant at the University of Alabama in 1965, under Bear Bryant. Dye served as a defensive assistant at Alabama through the 1973 season.

East CarolinaEdit

Dye moved into his first head coaching job at East Carolina University in 1974. Over six seasons, he achieved a record of 48–18–1. He guided the Pirates to the Southern Conference championship in 1976 and posted at least seven wins in all six seasons in Greenville. In 2006, Dye was inducted into the East Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame. As of 2006, his 72.4% win rate is the second highest of any coach in East Carolina University history.


In 1980, Dye took over as head coach for one season at the University of Wyoming. In the decade prior to his arrival the Cowboys had only one winning season (winning 35% of their games), but in Dye's first year he changed the culture into a winning program going 6–5 and paving the way for future success under coaches Al Kincaid (Dye's offensive coordinator) and Dennis Erickson. Interestiningly, in an interview many years later, Dye revealed that the athletic administration at Wyoming had failed to get his signature on a contract when they had hired him to coach their football team. Consequently, when Auburn hired Dye to be their new coach, the University of Wyoming had no recourse to demand compensation for Auburn hiring away their one-year coach.


During Dye's interview for the head coaching job at Auburn, he was asked by a member of the search committee, "How long will it take you to beat Alabama?" Dye's reply was "60 minutes."[1]

At Auburn, Dye achieved a record of 99–39–4 (71.1% win rate) over twelve seasons. His 99 wins are behind only Mike Donahue and Ralph Jordan for the most in school history. Under Dye's leadership, the Tigers won four Southeastern Conference championships (1983, 1987–1989) and Dye became only the fourth coach in SEC history to win three straight (1987–1989). He received SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1983, 1987, and 1988. Dye was also Auburn's athletic director from 1981 to 1991.

Dye coached 1985 Heisman Trophy winner Vincent "Bo" Jackson from 1982–1985, as well as Tracy Rocker (1985–88), winner of both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award in 1988. The 1983 team, led by quarterback Randy Campbell and a stifling defense, is generally considered Dye's best squad. That team recorded an 11–1 record against one of the toughest schedules in SEC history, including seven wins over bowl teams. Auburn was ranked #1 in the nation by the New York Times at the end of the 1983 season.[2]

Dye's tenure on the plains ended when Auburn was penalized for payments by boosters and assistant coaches to a player, Eric Ramsey. Tape recordings were released that implicated a booster named "Corky" Frost, and present Troy University head coach Larry Blakeney. The controversy landed the Auburn program a spot on 60 Minutes and an eventual NCAA investigation. While the investigation did not find Dye personally responsible for rules violations, the NCAA determined that as head coach and athletic director, Dye should have known about and stopped the payments to Ramsey.[3] The fallout from the NCAA probation against the football team pushed Dye out as athletic director in 1991 and as head coach the following year.

On November 19, 2005, the playing surface at Jordan–Hare Stadium at Auburn was named Pat Dye Field in the former coach's honor. The dedication ceremony was held immediately before the Iron Bowl, which Auburn went on to win 28–18. This was especially appropriate since Dye led the Tigers to a 30–20 victory over the Tide on December 2, 1989 in the first installment of the Iron Bowl to be played at Auburn after 41 consecutive meetings at Legion Field in Birmingham. The permanent move of Auburn's home games against Alabama to Jordan-Hare Stadium is considered one of Dye's most important achievements as AU's athletic director. Dye's tenure was also notable for the November 27, 1982 victory over arch-rival Alabama, when Dye's team defeated Alabama 23–22 in Bryant's last regular-season game. That game snapped a nine-game Tide winning streak and returned Auburn to competitive status in the rivalry.

Dye's autobiography, In The Arena, written with John Logue, was published in 1992. In September 2006, Dye partnered with publisher Mascot Books to release his first children's book, War Eagle!.

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
East Carolina Pirates (Southern Conference) (1974–1976)
1974 East Carolina 7–4 3–3 T–3rd
1975 East Carolina 8–3 4–2 2nd
1976 East Carolina 9–2 4–1 1st
East Carolina Pirates (Independent) (1977–1979)
1977 East Carolina 8–3
1978 East Carolina 9–3 W Independence
1979 East Carolina 7–3–1
East Carolina: 48–18–1 11–6
Wyoming Cowboys (Western Athletic Conference) (1980)
1980 Wyoming 6–5 4–4 T–5th
Wyoming: 6–5 4–4
Auburn Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (1981–1992)
1981 Auburn 5–6 2–4 T–6th
1982 Auburn 9–3 4–2 T–3rd W Tangerine 14 14
1983 Auburn 11–1 6–0 1st W Sugar 3 3
1984 Auburn 9–4 4–2 T–3rd W Liberty 14 14
1985 Auburn 8–4 3–3 5th L Cotton
1986 Auburn 10–2 4–2 T–2nd W Citrus 8 6
1987 Auburn 9–1–2 5–0–1 1st T Sugar 7 7
1988 Auburn 10–2 6–1 T–1st L Sugar 7 8
1989 Auburn 10–2 6–1 T–1st W Hall of Fame 6 6
1990 Auburn 8–3–1 4–2–1 4th W Peach 19 19
1991 Auburn 5–6 2–5 8th
1992 Auburn 5–5–1 2–5–1 5th (West)
Auburn: 99–39–4 48–27–3
Total: 153–62–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Post RetirementEdit

In the Fall of 2011, Coach Dye took part in a weekly segment on the nationally syndicated the "Rick and Bubba Show". In the segment on Friday mornings, Rick, Bubba and Coach Dye would talk about the upcoming weekends college football games, focusing mainly on the games that will be played in the SEC Conference.

An amusing situation occurred in 2008 when a pair of pants belonging to Dye were plucked from Lake Martin. A resident spotted the green-and-blue Madras golf pants sticking out of the mud along Lake Martin in the Emerald Shores area near Still Waters with the water down 15 feet below full pool. Inside the pants were Dye's wallet, ID, and Credit Cards. Dye, in good humor, laughed about the incident, but had no memory of losing them.

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