Auburn to honor 3 legendary football coaches with statues on Friday
AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Three new statues will be unveiled outside Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium on Friday to honor the men whose names already adorn the complex and its playing field.
The ceremony, set for 3 p.m. at the southwest corner of the stadium near Tiger Walk entrance, will commemorate Shug Jordan, Cliff Hare and Pat Dye, three coaches who left their marks on the program during their time leading the football team.
University officials say former players will be on-hand to share their memories of Jordan and Dye, while former longtime Auburn Athletics Director David Housel will talk about Hare’s significance.
A member of each of the late coaches’ families will be present to formally accept the statues on their behalf after they’re unveiled.
“Coach Jordan, Coach Dye and Dean Cliff Hare are most deserving of this esteemed honor,” Director of Athletics Allen Greene said. “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.”
A Chicago art studio was commissioned to create the 8-foot statues, which are made of bronze.
Hare was a player on Auburn’s first football team in 1892. He served as the dean of the university’s chemistry department and was also the first president of the Southern Athletic Conference, which was the precursor to today’s Southeastern Conference. He was honored by the university in 1949 when the stadium was named Cliff Hare Stadium.
Jordan played multiple sports at Auburn before becoming its football coach in 1951. He led the Tigers to their first national championship in 1957 and in 1973, two years before retiring, the stadium was once again renamed. Jordan-Hare Stadium was the first in the nation named for an active coach.
Dye’s coaching career at Auburn ran from 1981-1992 and included the position of director of athletics. The field upon which his team welcomed and then beat the rival Crimson Tide in 1989, the first Jordan-Hare Iron Bowl, was later named in his honor in 2005.
The public is invited to the event but on a standing-room-only basis.
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