C O A C H . M E N T O R . D A D D Y .

Auburn sports legend Bo Jackson remembers Pat Dye

Coach Dye sacrificed his family to turn a bunch of young boys into responsible men, not just good football players. He spent more time with his players than he did with his own family, and what I came to realize later in my life was that the time he spent with his players really cost him in the end. But, just look at the lives he changed: thousands of lives. And not just the lives of his players, but the lives of the families of players, too. That’s why I say, besides my mother, he was the most influential person in my life. He gave me something I never had, which was a father figure. He became my daddy, my mentor

When I was playing at Auburn (and even in the pros), I would have a great game and I would go to the locker room at the end of the game and when I was finished talking to reporters, I would just sit and envy all my teammates who would be sitting around having conversations with their dads. One of the things I cherish the most is that, after all the media had left the locker room, Coach Dye would always come over and sit down and talk to me. So, my relationship with him is deeper for me. It’s almost like I stole him as a father figure from his kids and forced my way into their family, and they accepted me. I told Coach Dye’s grandkids I’m their Uncle Bo. They are my adopted family. Coach Dye and I often fished together on his farm and we could just talk for hours, like a father and son would do. One day, when he was still married to Sue, he told me the three most important things in her life were “them kids, Bo Jackson and her damn dogs.” Coach Dye will always mean the world to me and I treasure all the time I had with him.”