Eleven-year Auburn coaching legend turned radio host Pat Dye has the same love for sports today he had in 1981. After several years of contributing to radio shows around the southeast, Dye started his own show.
After Dye partnered with his co-host Tim Ellen in 2013, the two produce a weekly hour-long show that is then rebroadcasted on radio stations throughout the southeast.
Dye has interviewed a number of key players throughout his show’s history. “We have good guests," Dye said. "I had Brett Favre on this morning, we talked about his career at Southern Mississippi.”
From Gene Stallings to Gene Chizik, Dye has hosted players and coaches from a range of sports. Dye said he has also had his share of interviews he will never forget.
“We’ve had some great ones, Herschel was a good one, Herschel Walker," Dye said. "We talk to coaches my age that are retired, R.C. Slocum and Coach [Gene] Stallings and Francis Tarkenton was on my show before the Georgia game.”
While football is a big focus for Dye and his show, Dye and Ellen frequently discuss other sports on the show. The pair invites players and coaches from a wide range of sports to speak on the show.
“We’ve had softball coaches, [a] women’s soccer coach and men’s golf team [coaches],” Dye said. “I love to watch women’s softball and women’s basketball. They play with a passion, and I enjoy watching our [Auburn’s] men play basketball."
Dye said he enjoys all athletics, with Auburn holding a special place in his heart.
“I just love the students at Auburn, not necessarily athletes," Dye said. "The right kind of kids are still choosing to come to school here and the most I can have is just being around Auburn students.”
Auburn athletics continues to play a significant role in Dye’s life. In addition to the interviews with many of Auburn's previous and current athletics’ coaches and players, Dye occasionally helps the current football team.
“[The football team] look at me like a grandfather, they don’t pay much attention to me,” Dye said. “I’ll go watch them and I can get on to them. I can tell them what needs to be said and they don’t take it personally and if they want to listen, they listen and if they don’t, then it goes in one ear and out the other. They are very respectful.”
With an inside look at the team, Dye shared his thoughts on how the team has performed this past season, especially with the win over Georgia.
“It was a fun day and one we needed badly," Dye said. "The last two years we should have beat Georgia, and they beat us so we had some payback and the Auburn fans made it a great scene.”
Today, Dye spends most of his time running his farm, Crooked Oaks, he purchased in the 1980's.
“We’ve got a little hunting preserve we run, and I enjoy the people that like the outdoors." Dye said. "I like planting trees, I’ve got a Japanese Maples Garden and Nursery.”
Dye has purchased several farms throughout the southeast that he has now sold, Crooked Oaks was the first farm Dye bought and the only one he still owns.
The Japanese Maple is a special tree to Dye, inspiring him to build a garden and nursery incorporating them.
“I got one when I moved to Auburn and was landscaping my yard in 1981 and I watched it change colors three or four times a year and just fell in love with the tree,” Dye said.
After Dye got out of coaching in 1992, he became more involved with the trees and learned more about them.
Throughout the years on the farm, Dye has accumulated a number of trees. From trees in someone’s yard they no longer want to dying trees he has found on abandoned land, Dye has grown his tree farm and his fascination with a variety of trees.
Trees are not the only living creatures Dye rescues, the former Auburn football coach also rescues dogs.
“I’m not sure what the number is, I think it’s eight [rescue dogs]," Dye said. "I started to say they come and go, but they don’t go. They just come and we say we’re going to find a home for them but they just end up staying.”
Dye turned 78 years old on Nov. 6 and said even if he lived another 78 years he could not repay Auburn for what he feels Auburn has done for him.
“I came to Auburn in 1981 to coach football and found a home," Dye said. "I love the school and I love the people and the students, I couldn’t have picked a better fit for me."