Football By: Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala.—Statues of Shug Jordan, Cliff Hare and Pat Dye, the three men whose names adorn Auburn’s football stadium and playing field, will be unveiled Friday at 3 p.m. CT outside the southwest corner of Jordan-Hare Stadium near the Tiger Walk entrance.
In a ceremony preceding the unveiling, former players will share memories of Jordan and Dye, and former Auburn director of athletics David Housel will speak on Hare’s significance to Auburn’s football program.
After each statue is unveiled, a member of the Hare, Jordan and Dye families will formally accept on their behalf.
“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.”
Auburn commissioned the Chicago-based Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany and lead sculptor Lou Cella to create the 8-foot bronze artworks.
A member of Auburn’s first football team in 1892, Hare served as dean of Auburn University’s chemistry department, and as the first president of the Southern Athletic Conference, precursor to the SEC.
As the longtime chairman of Auburn’s Faculty Athletic Committee, he worked for more than a half-century to see Auburn’s football program come to maturity. In 1949, Auburn renamed its then 10-year-old football venue “Cliff Hare Stadium.”
A three-sport athlete at Auburn, Jordan coached the Tigers from 1951-75, amassing a program-record 176 victories and leading Auburn to the school’s first national championship in 1957.
Auburn in 1973 renamed its football facility “Jordan-Hare Stadium,” becoming the first stadium in the country to be named for an active coach. Jordan was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982.
Dye, a two-time All-American at the University of Georgia and the SEC Lineman of the Year in 1960, coached the Tigers from 1981-92, winning 99 games and four Southeastern Conference championships.
As director of athletics, he oversaw the expansion of Jordan-Hare Stadium and brought the Iron Bowl to Auburn’s campus in 1989. Dye was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005, the same year Auburn named its playing surface “Pat Dye Field” in his honor.
The public is invited to attend on a standing-room-only basis, as limited seating will be reserved for families, former players and dignitaries. In the event of rain, the program will move indoors to the Anderson-Thorne Tigers Den and be closed to the public, except for the unveiling outdoors.
The statues will be unveiled on the eve of Auburn’s game against Georgia, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry which began in 1892.