Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Our Coach Heads Into The College Football Hall Of Fame

Well he did it. Last night our coach, Pat Dye was finally inducted into the College Football Hall Of Fame. For me, there is only one coach and that’s Pat Dye.

I love Tommy Tuberville. And I’m sure I’ll like the one who follows him. But for me, there will always be only one coach and that’s Pat Dye. For my father’s generation it was Shug Jordan. And what a man he was. I take nothing away from him.

But if you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s there was and is only one coach and that is Patrick Fain Dye. He is without question my favorite Auburn person – of all times. I’ve written about it before; when you’re from my generation and were in junior high before beating Alabama for the first time (that we could remember) Dye holds a special place in your heart.

For a kid who grew up worshiping at the altar of Auburn football, Pat Dye was as close to an angel as they came. It has been said all over again this week but it’s worth saying again – Pat Dye was and is the most influential figure in the history of Auburn football.

He not only took us out of the shadow of Bear Bryant, he put us on the national stage. He made us relevant again. He took us to bowl games, won conference championships, beat our rivals regularly, produced Heisman, Lombardi and Outland Trophy winners and most importantly set the stage for what we are enjoying today.

Never forget Dye’s contributions. Without him there is no 85,000 seat stadium, there is no multi-million dollar athletic complex, there are no SEC Championships, there are no Bo Jackson’s, Brent Fullwood’s and there is no Tommy Tuberville.

That’s right, without Dye setting the stage and righting the program, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We wouldn’t have Coach Tuberville; we couldn’t pay him $2 million a year and compete with Florida, Tennessee, LSU or Georgia. And we certainly wouldn’t own the state of Alabama like we do now.

Congratulations Coach Dye. An entire generation thanks you for giving us hope and then delivering on it. Because of you, Auburn is better today than it has ever been. You may have gone into the College Football Hall Of Fame last night, but you’ve been in Auburn’s all along. War Eagle!

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