Former ECU, Auburn football coach Pat Dye dies at 80

The Georgia native was 48-18-1 in six seasons with the Pirates in the 1970s

Pat Dye, a former head coach for East Carolina, Wyoming and Auburn, has died. He was 80. (Jason DeCrow / AP Photo)

Former football coach Pat Dye, who parlayed success at East Carolina and Wyoming to revitalize Auburn’s downtrodden football program and turned it into an SEC power, died Monday. He was 80.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Dye died at a hospice care facility in Auburn from complications of kidney and liver failure.

Dye’s son, Pat Dye Jr., had told recently that the former coach had been hospitalized in Atlanta for kidney-related issues. He also said his father had tested positive for the coronavirus but had been asymptomatic.

Dye was 48-18-1 in six seasons at East Carolina, coming to Greenville in 1974 and leading the Pirates to a Southern Conference title in 1976. He was inducted into the ECU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.

After one season at Wyoming, Dye inherited an Auburn program in 1981 that was deeply divided after only three winning seasons in the previous six years. In 12 years, he posted a 99-39-4 record, Auburn won or shared four conference titles and the Tigers were ranked in The Associated Press’ Top 10 five times.

Dye’s overall coaching record was 153-62-5 in 17 years at Auburn, Wyoming and East Carolina.

His coaching career ended in November 1992 when he was forced to resign after a pay-for-play scandal rocked the program, which was placed on two years’ probation.

Dye served as athletic director as well as coach for most of his career with Auburn. He remained associated with the university after his resignation and was a frequent commentator on football talk-radio shows.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.