Former Auburn coach Pat Dye, who took over a downtrodden football program in 1981 and turned it into a Southeastern Conference 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, who played college football at Georgia, had been hospitalized in Atlanta last month with a kidney issue. He had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The news was first reported by 247Sports.

» MORE: Notable sports deaths in 2020

Dye was born in Blythe, Ga. He was team captain of the 1956 Class AAA champion Richmond Academy in Augusta.

He went on to play from 1957-1960 at Georgia where he was a two-time All-American, under head coach Wally Butts.

When Dye came to Auburn, he inherited a program 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.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Dye is survived by four children — including Pat Dye Jr., an NFL agent — and nine grandchildren.

In Other News