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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn to unveil statues of Dye, Hare and Jordan

<p>Pat Dye socializes&nbsp;during Bo Bikes Bama 2017 on Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.</p>

Pat Dye socializes during Bo Bikes Bama 2017 on Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.

Auburn will be unveiling three life-size namesake statues dedicated to a few of the most recognized members of the Auburn football family on the eve of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. 

Pat Dye, Cliff Hare and Shug Jordan will further be forever honored on Auburn’s campus with three new statues located on the southwest corner of Jordan-Hare stadium near the entrance to Tiger Walk.

“Coach Jordan, coach Dye and Dean Cliff Hare are most deserving of this esteemed honor,” said athletic director Allen Greene. “Their extraordinary contributions created the foundation on which Auburn’s football program has ascended. These statues will serve as visible reminders of their commitment to Auburn, inspiring the Auburn Family for generations.”

In an unveiling ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. CST on Friday, former players of Jordan and Dye will speak and reflect on their memories with the coaches. Former Auburn director of athletics David Housel will also speak on Hare’s impact and significance to Auburn athletics.

Members of the Jordan, Dye and Hare families will be present to formally accept the statues on their behalf.

The statues were crafted by lead sculptor Lou Cella and the Chicago-based Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany. Auburn commissioned Cella and Rotblatt-Amrany to craft the custom 8-foot bronze works of art.

Hare represents Auburn’s football history itself. A member of the first Auburn football team in 1892, Hare extended his love and passion for Auburn beyond the football field by serving as dean to Auburn University’s chemistry department and eventually serving as the first president of the Southern Athletic Conference, later renamed to the SEC. Hare also personally oversaw the growth and cultivation of Auburn’s football program by serving as the chairman of Auburn’s Faculty Athletic Committee for an untold number of years.

A testament to Hare’s impact on the program, Auburn renamed its then decade-old football stadium to “Cliff Hare Stadium," to set his name in literal stone on Auburn’s campus for decades to come. 

Jordan, a three-sport athlete in his time as a student at Auburn, amassed a program-shattering record of 176 wins as head coach from 1951 to 1975. Auburn can also credit one of its two national championship banners to the late Jordan, who took the Tigers to an unbeaten 10-0 record and an AP National Championship title in 1957.

Auburn made history when it renamed Cliff-Hare Stadium to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 1973, which was the only stadium named after a head coach still coaching for the school. Jordan’s name now sits in the College Football Hall of Fame, where he was deservedly inducted in 1982.

Dye lays claim to four of Auburn’s eight SEC championships, as he coached the Tigers to new levels of success from 1981-92.

Dye started his career across state lines and rivalry battle lines, however. Playing football at the University of Georgia, Dye was named SEC Linemen of the Year in 1960 and a two-time All-American in his more than successful career with the Bulldogs.

Dye is the man who brought the Iron Bowl to Auburn’s campus. Serving as director of athletics at the time, Dye brought the first home Iron Bowl to Auburn’s campus in 1989.

Dye’s name also presides in the College Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted in the same year that Auburn renamed its stadium’s field to “Pat Dye Field”, in 2005.

The general public is invited to join the ceremony on a standing-room only basis, as former players, dignitaries and their families are prioritized for the limited seating available.

In case of rain, the program will move indoors to the Anderson-Thorne Tigers Den and will be subsequently closed off to the public, except for the outdoor unveiling of the statues. 

Join Auburn friends and family at the Southwest Corner of Jordan-Hare to experience the unveiling of three statues dedicated to some of the most renowned members Auburn’s football program on the eve of The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, Friday, 3 p.m CST. 

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Larry Robinson | Photo Editor

Larry is a senior studying journalism with a minor in sociology. He is from Enterprise, Alabama and is in his third year with The Auburn Plainsman. 

Twitter: @ReportingLarry

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