Former UW head coach Pat Dye dies at 80
LARAMIE -- Pat Dye, who coached one season in Laramie but was better known for a legendary career at Auburn, died early Monday.
He was 80.
Last week, Dye was hospitalized with kidney issues and also tested positive for Covid-19.
In 1980, Dye coached All-Western Athletic Conference selections Guy Frazier, Chuck Bradford, John Salley, Mandel Robinson and Gregg Taylor. Dye led Wyoming to a 6-5 record, including victories over Oregon State, Utah and San Diego State.
The following season, Al Kincaid led the Cowboys to an 8-3 mark, including a 33-20 victory over 13th-ranked BYU.
Dye also coached other notable names at UW in Bruce Small, Darnell Clash, Steve Tobin, Phil Davis and Steve Martinez.
Dye resigned after the '80 campaign and a month later was hired at Auburn where he led the Tigers from 1981-92.
"I am extremely happy to be back in Alabama - Auburn, Ala., that is,'' Dye, then 40, told the Associated Press. "I'm glad to be back in an area where football means so much to the people. People in Wyoming are talking about rodeoing in July, while people in Alabama are talking about the Alabama-Auburn game."
In an LA Times story titled: "In a State of Frenzy : Auburn: Coach Pat Dye has cultivated a powerful defense and reigns as Alabama’s football king on his own terms," Dye says UW gave him an ultimatum -- Withdraw from consideration at Auburn or be fired.
"You ever been unemployed in Laramie, Wyoming?" former UW defensive coordinator, Wayne Hall, asked Dye. "I remember Coach Dye asking, 'Can we win at Auburn?' I said, 'Heck, yeah, we can win at Auburn.'"
Dye, who was a longtime assistant under the Crimson Tide's legendary head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, was a catalyst in moving the "Iron Bowl" from Birmingham to the two rivals' home stadiums. He also recruited Vincent "Bo" Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1985.
In 2005, Auburn named its football field "Pat Dye Field" inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. That same season he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Dye's all-time coaching record was 153-62-5 over 19 seasons.