The Auburn Board of Trustees unanimously approved a request Friday from Auburn Athletics to commission statues of former Auburn greats Cliff Hare, Ralph “Shug” Jordan, and Pat Dye. The location and project schedule are not yet determined.
“We are appreciative of the Board of Trustees’ approval to recognize and honor the greatness of Cliff Hare, Shug Jordan and Pat Dye,” Auburn Athletics Director Allen Greene said. “Each made immeasurable and endless contributions that have made Auburn such a special place and we look forward to honoring them.”
Cliff Hare was a member of Auburn's first football team and was also involved in policymaking at API (Alabama Polytechnic Institute) for a half century. Among Hare’s many accolades, he served as the first president of the Southern Athletic Conference in 1932, served as Chairman of API’s Faculty Athletic Committee for numerous years, and was named Dean of the School of Chemistry and Pharmacy in 1932.
Ralph “Shug” Jordan served as the head football coach at Auburn University from 1951 to 1975. Jordan also was the head men’s basketball coach at Auburn from 1933-42 and 1945-46 and served as an assistant coach for the football team.
Jordan was the winningest football coach in Auburn's history and led the 1957 team to the school's first-ever national championship. He is Auburn’s all-time win leader (176) and his 25 years is the most by an Auburn football head coach.
“Auburn Football was a wasteland, a desert, when Coach Jordan came back as head coach in 1951. An Auburn Man, he gave Auburn people the greatest thing that could ever be given: hope. And he delivered,” said David Housel, long-time Auburn Athletic Administrator. “Whatever Auburn Football is today, whatever it may become in years to come will be due in no small measure to Coach Jordan and his many contributions to his alma mater.”
Jordan led Auburn to 19 winning seasons, 12 bowl games and 13 appearances in the final Associated Press poll, including seven top 10 finishes. During his tenure as Tigers’ head coach, he had 25 All-Americans, eight Academic All-Americans and the program's first Heisman Trophy winner in Pat Sullivan. He was named the AP SEC Coach of the Year twice (1957, 1972) and is the seventh winningest coach in conference history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1982.
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Dye served as the head football coach at Auburn from 1981-92 and was Auburn’s Athletics Director from 1981-91. Under Dye's leadership, the Tigers won four Southeastern Conference championships (1983, 1987, 1988, 1989) and Dye became only the fourth coach in SEC history to win three straight titles (1987, 1988, 1989). He received SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1983, 1987 and 1988 and also coached 1985 Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson, as well as Tracy Rocker, winner of both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award in 1988.
“Coach Dye returned Auburn to national relevance in the 1980s and helped make it the tradition-rich program that it is today,” said Bo Jackson, 1985 Heisman Trophy winner. “He helped bring the Iron Bowl to Auburn and most importantly helped shape the lives of hundreds of men that played for him. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Coach Dye.”
One of Dye’s most important achievements as Auburn’s Athletics Director was the permanent move of Auburn’s home games against Alabama to Jordan-Hare Stadium. The first time Auburn hosted Alabama in Jordan-Hare Stadium was on December 2, 1989, the first time in 41 years that the Iron Bowl had not been played at Birmingham’s Legion Field.
In 2005, Dye was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.
The football stadium was named Cliff Hare Stadium in his honor in 1949, before becoming Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1973. The playing field at Jordan-Hare Stadium was named “Pat Dye Field” in 2005.
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