I don't know how the event could have been any better. There was a huge turnout of people there and the weather cooperated. It was a little chilly, but it wasn't bad. The ceremony was very well organized and it gave us all an opportunity to love on that national championship football team one more time before we turned it loose.
The format was a good one and I thought the speakers did an excellent job. It was a nice touch to have the former players involved in handing out all of the awards. It made you proud to be an Auburn man or woman to see that celebration take place.
That evening fans who had tickets to the Auburn-Alabama basketball game were able to go across the street and see the presentation of the Iron Bowl trophy, which was a nice way to cap a great day at Auburn.
The ceremony at the stadium had to be impressive to the recruits who were at the celebration. I understand that there were junior prospects there as well as high school seniors who will be signing their scholarship papers next week. Anyone who was at Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday had to come away with a warm and fuzzy feeling about the Auburn Family.
It looks like Coach Chizik and his staff are going to have another strong recruiting class and it won't be long until they are down the last few slots available. Like most recruiting classes, which players you close with is critical.
For prospects who have waited this late to make their college decisions it can be a difficult choice because many times they have gotten close to coaches at different colleges and it is tough on those young kids to tell those coaches they aren't coming to their school.
This week we lost one of the truly great Auburn men with the passing of Dr. Ed Dyas in Mobile, his hometown. I played against Ed for four years in college. When you are playing and are competing there are always individuals on the opposing teams you have respect for and long before I got to Auburn he was a guy I had tremendous respect for even though I didn't know him personally at that time. I had respect for him because of the way he played the game.
Of course, back then we all played both ways. Ed Dyas played linebacker and fullback and his coaches made sure they gave him the ball because he was such a good player. He beat our Georgia team in 1960 in the game at Auburn when we were seniors. He kicked three field goals that day to win the game 9-6.
It was well documented how he went on from Auburn to become a well respected doctor who was very active in volunteering to help his alma mater through the years. He won all of the big awards and was inducted the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009, an honor that was well deserved. He will be greatly missed by the Auburn Family, but we were all blessed by his life and the way he lived. He was a very good man who was very charitable and was always thinking about ways to help somebody else. He was just the kind of guy you cherished as a friend.
I was blessed to have known him and my sympathy goes out to his wife Diane and the entire Dyas family he loved. I have had the opportunity to spend time with him the past few months and I wanted him to know how much Auburn people loved him. We brought him a football signed by the members of the 2010 team and coaching staff to let him know that we were thinking about him. I wouldn't take anything for the experience of spending that time with Ed.
Pat Dye (60) chases Ed Dyas (38) during a Georgia-Auburn football game.
Dr. Dyas had been seriously ill for a long time, but he loved Auburn football and the 2010 team in particular was one that really excited him. His wife said that Ed wasn't going to leave us until he saw Auburn finish the season by playing in the national championship game and that is what happened. I am thankful he got to see his Tigers win.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn who was also head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming, Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns a week--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.