This Day in College Football History – November 6th

Pat Dye (born November 6, 1939) is a former football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at East Carolina University (1974–1979), the University of Wyoming (1980), and Auburn University (1981–1992) compiling a career college football record of 153–62–5. Dye also served as the athletic director at Auburn from 1981 to 1991. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2005.

Dye played high school football at Richmond Academy where he was selected All-American and All-State while leading the team to the 1956 3A state championship serving as team captain. Following this success, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution selected Dye as Georgia’s 3A Lineman of the Year for 1956 before being recruited to the University of Georgia. While playing for the Bulldogs under head coach Wally Butts, Dye was a first-team All-SEC lineman and two-time All-American (1959 and 1960). The Atlanta Touchdown Club named him the SEC’s Most Valuable Lineman in 1960. Upon graduation from Georgia, Dye played three years of professional football as a linebacker for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League.

Dye’s first coaching job came as an assistant at the University of Alabama in 1965, under Bear Bryant. Dye served as a defensive assistant at Alabama through the 1973 season. Dye moved into his first head coaching job at East Carolina University in 1974. Over six seasons, he achieved a record of 48–18–1. He guided the Pirates to the Southern Conference championship in 1976 and posted at least seven wins in all six seasons in Greenville. In 2006, Dye was inducted into the East Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame. As of 2006, his 72.4% win rate is the second highest of any coach in East Carolina University history.

In 1980, Dye took over as head coach for one season at the University of Wyoming. In the decade prior to his arrival the Cowboys had only one winning season (winning 35% of their games), but in Dye’s first year he changed the culture into a winning program going 6–5 and paving the way for future success under coaches Al Kincaid (Dye’s offensive coordinator) and Dennis Erickson. Interestiningly, in an interview many years later, Dye revealed that the athletic administration at Wyoming had failed to get his signature on a contract when they had hired him to coach their football team. Consequently, when Auburn hired Dye to be their new coach, the University of Wyoming had no recourse to demand compensation for Auburn hiring away their one-year coach.

During Dye’s interview for the head coaching job at Auburn, he was asked by a member of the search committee, “How long will it take you to beat Alabama?” Dye’s reply was “60 minutes.”

At Auburn, Dye achieved a record of 99–39–4 (71.1% win rate) over twelve seasons. His 99 wins are behind only Mike Donahue and Ralph Jordan for the most in school history. Under Dye’s leadership, the Tigers won four Southeastern Conference championships (1983, 1987–1989) and Dye became only the fourth coach in SEC history to win three straight (1987–1989). He received SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1983, 1987, and 1988. Dye was also Auburn’s athletic director from 1981 to 1991.

Dye coached 1985 Heisman Trophy winner Vincent “Bo” Jackson from 1982–1985, as well as Tracy Rocker (1985–88), winner of both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award in 1988. The 1983 team, led by quarterback Randy Campbell and a stifling defense, is generally considered Dye’s best squad. That team recorded an 11–1 record against one of the toughest schedules in SEC history, including seven wins over bowl teams. Auburn was ranked #1 in the nation by the New York Times at the end of the 1983 season.

Dye’s tenure on the plains ended when Auburn was penalized for payments by boosters and assistant coaches to a player, Eric Ramsey. Tape recordings were released that implicated a booster named “Corky” Frost, and present Troy University head coach Larry Blakeney. The controversy landed the Auburn program a spot on 60 Minutes and an eventual NCAA investigation. While the investigation did not find Dye personally responsible for rules violations, the NCAA determined that as head coach and athletic director, Dye should have known about and stopped the payments to Ramsey. The fallout from the NCAA probation against the football team pushed Dye out as athletic director in 1991 and as head coach the following year.

On November 19, 2005, the playing surface at Jordan–Hare Stadium at Auburn was named Pat Dye Field in the former coach’s honor. The dedication ceremony was held immediately before the Iron Bowl, which Auburn went on to win 28–18. This was especially appropriate since Dye led the Tigers to a 30–20 victory over the Tide on December 2, 1989 in the first installment of the Iron Bowl to be played at Auburn after 41 consecutive meetings at Legion Field in Birmingham. The permanent move of Auburn’s home games against Alabama to Jordan-Hare Stadium is considered one of Dye’s most important achievements as AU’s athletic director. Dye’s tenure was also notable for the November 27, 1982 victory over arch-rival Alabama, when Dye’s team defeated Alabama 23–22 in Bryant’s last regular-season game. That game snapped a nine-game Tide winning streak and returned Auburn to competitive status in the rivalry.

Bernie H. Moore (April 30, 1895 – November 6, 1967) was a college football, basketball, track and field coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Mercer University (1926–1928) and Louisiana State University (1935–1947). Moore was also the head basketball coach at Mercer (1926–1928) and the head track and field coach at LSU (1930–1947). He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1952. Moore was the son of a Baptist minister and graduated from Carson–Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

In addition to two Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships in football won at LSU, his track and field teams won twelve SEC titles and the national championship in 1933. LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium is named in his honor.

After ending his tenure at LSU, the longest of any coach at the university to that point, Moore became SEC Commissioner in 1948. In 1967, he won the inaugural James J. Corbett Memorial Award given by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1966. His last residence was the Henderson Clark-Moore House in Winchester, Tennessee.

Alfred “Big Al” Hamilton Williams (born November 6, 1968) is a former linebacker and defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos. He finished his career with the New Orleans Saints.

Williams played linebacker at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was a unanimous All-American pick in 1990, a consensus All-American in 1989 and the 1990 Butkus Award winner. Williams was also the Captain of the 1990 Colorado National Championship Team. He ended his career with the Colorado Buffaloes with 263 tackles and 35 sacks. In 2008, he was included on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot. Then in 2010, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Williams was selected by the Bengals in the first round (18th pick overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft. He was a part of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in 1997 and 1998. He was selected as an All-Pro defensive end in 1996. He retired from the game after the 1999 season.

Pat Tillman (November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004) was a football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks. He joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Army at first reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire, and then Lieutenant General Stanley A. McChrystal approved the award of a Silver Star. The actual cause of Tillman’s death was later ruled by the Pentagon as friendly fire.

Tillman was born on November 6, 1976, in Fremont, California. The oldest of three sons, Tillman excelled at football in high school. He helped lead Leland High School to the Central Coast Division I Football Championship. Tillman then went to Arizona State University on a football scholarship.

Tillman was very close to his family and high school friends. He repeatedly mentioned in his personal journals during wartime service that he drew strength from and deeply valued his closest friendships, parents, wife and family. Tillman was very committed to his high-school sweetheart whom he married just prior to enlistment in the Army Rangers, Marie Ugenti Tillman. He also was very close with his brother, Kevin Tillman, who enlisted with and served alongside him.

He started his college career as a linebacker for Arizona State University in 1994, when he secured the last remaining scholarship for the team. Tillman excelled as a linebacker at Arizona State, despite being relatively small for the position at five-feet eleven-inches tall. As a junior, he helped his team go undefeated that season as well as helping them make it to the Rose Bowl that year. In 1997, he was voted the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Academically, Tillman majored in marketing and graduated in three and a half years with a 3.85 GPA. He also earned many academic awards including: the Clyde B. Smith Academic Award in 1996 and 1997; the Sporting News Honda Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1997; and the 1998 Sun Angel Student Athlete of Year. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

Arizona State Sun Devils #42 retired

 

College Football Hall of Fame

In the 1998 National Football League Draft, Tillman was selected as the 226th pick by the Arizona Cardinals. Tillman moved over to play the safety position in the NFL and started ten of sixteen games in his rookie season.

At one point in his NFL career, Tillman turned down a five-year, $9 million contract offer from the St. Louis Rams out of loyalty to the Cardinals.

Sports Illustrated football writer Paul Zimmerman (Dr. Z) named Tillman to his 2000 NFL All-Pro team after Tillman finished with 155 tackles (120 solo), 1.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 9 pass deflections and 1 interception for 30 yards.

Tillman finished his career with totals of 238 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 interceptions for 37 yards, 3 forced fumbles, 2 pass deflections, and 3 fumble recoveries in 60 career games. In addition he also had 1 rush attempt for 4 yards and returned 3 kickoffs for 33 yards.

In May 2002, eight months after the September 11 attacks and after completing the fifteen remaining games of the 2001 season which followed the attacks (at a salary of $512,000 per year), Tillman turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.

Tillman and his brother Kevin enlisted on 31 May 2002. Kevin gave up the chance of a career in professional baseball as he had already signed to play for the Cleveland Indians. In September 2002, they completed basic training together. The two brothers completed the Ranger Indoctrination Program in late 2002 and were assigned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion in Fort Lewis, Washington. Tillman resided in University Place with his wife before being deployed to Iraq. After participating in the initial invasion of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in September 2003, he entered Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and graduated on November 28, 2003.

Tillman was subsequently redeployed to Afghanistan. On April 22, 2004, he was killed by friendly fire. An Afghan Militia Forces Allied soldier was also killed in the action. Tillman’s Platoon Leader First Lieutenant David Uthlaut and his RadioTelephone Operator, then 19-year old Jade Lane, were wounded in the incident. The specific details of his death and its aftermath were investigated by the US Congress.

The Army initially claimed that Tillman and his unit were attacked in an apparent ambush on a road outside of the village of Sperah about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Khost, near the Pakistan border. An Afghan militia soldier was killed, and two other Rangers were injured as well.

The Army Special Operations Command initially claimed that there was an exchange with hostile forces. After a lengthy investigation conducted by Brigadier General Gary M. Jones, the U.S. Department of Defense concluded that both the Afghan militia soldier’s and Pat Tillman’s deaths were due to friendly fire aggravated by the intensity of the firefight.

An investigation by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command concluded that Tillman and the Afghan militia soldier were killed by friendly fire when one allied group fired upon another in confusion after nearby gunfire was mistakenly believed to be from enemy combatants. The CID Report summary, dated 19 March 2007, stated that: “during their movement through the canyon road, Serial 2 [Tillman’s platoon had to split up because of a broken Humvee; the parts were called Serial 1 and 2] was ambushed and became engaged in a running gun battle with enemy combatants. Serial 1 [Tillman’s portion of the platoon] had just passed through the same canyon without incident and were approximately one kilometer ahead of Serial 2. Upon hearing explosions, gunfire, and sporadic radio communication from Serial 2, Serial 1 dismounted their vehicles and moved on foot, to a more advantageous position to provide overwatch and fire support for Serial 2’s movement out of the ambush.” Upon exiting the gorge, and despite attempts by Serial 1 to signal a “friendly position,” occupants of the lead vehicle of Serial 2 opened fire on Tillman’s position, where he was fatally shot.

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