Auburn Football Tradition
The National College Football Hall of Fame has inducted a total of 12 Tigers including four coaches and eight players. These 12 figures represent some of the biggest names in college football history.
Coach John HeismanThe namesake of college football's highest honor, John Heisman arrived in 1895 after Auburn joined the Southern Intercollegiate Athletics Association (SIAA). Heisman coached Auburn to four winning seasons and was credited with introducing several football innovations to the South. While at Auburn, he also served as a professor of elocution and oratory. Auburn remains the only university at which Heisman coached to produce players awarded the Heisman Trophy (2010 Cam Newton, 1985 Bo Jackson, 1971 Pat Sullivan).
Coach Mike DonahueIn his 19 years as head coach of the Tigers, Mike Donahue compiled an overall record of 101-37-5 with four undefeated seasons and five SIAA Championships. Donahue was the first coach or player from Auburn to be inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame. His 1913 team was recognized by the NCAA as national champions with an undefeated season. That team went on to win 22 consecutive games from 1913-1915. Donahue is the second-winningest coach in Auburn history following Ralph "Shug" Jordan. Donahue also served as athletics director, basketball coach, baseball coach, track coach and soccer coach while at Auburn. Today, Jordan-Hare Stadium is located on Donahue Drive.
Coach Ralph "Shug" JordanOne of the most iconic figures in Auburn football history, Ralph "Shug" Jordan was a center and letterman for Auburn from 1928-1932. He was named AU's most outstanding student-athlete in 1932. Jordan served as head coach at Auburn for 25 seasons (1951-1975) and compiled a record of 176-83-6. Jordan remains the winningest head coach in Auburn history. Jordan led the 1957 Tigers to an undefeated season and National Championship. Jordan-Hare Stadium was named in his honor in 1973.
Coach Pat DyePat Dye coached Auburn from 1981-1992 with an overall record of 99-39-4. Under Dye, Auburn won four SEC Championships in 1983, 1987, 1988 and 1989. Dye earned SEC Coach of the Year three times and served as Auburn's athletics director from 1981-91. The playing field in Jordan-Hare Stadium is named in Dye's honor.
Jimmy HitchcockJimmy Hitchcock served as quarterback, running back and punter for Auburn (then Alabama Polytechnic Institute), leading the Tigers to the 1932 Southern Conference Championship. Hitchcock earned three varsity letters (1930-1932) and was named an All-American in 1932 by Walter Camp. Hitchcock was API's first All-American in both football and baseball. He was known as "The Phantom of Union Springs."
Walter GilbertWalter Gilbert played center and linebacker at Auburn from 1934-1936 and participated in Auburn's first two bowl games. Gilbert earned three varsity letters and three All-American honors. The Walter Gilbert Award, given every fall to a distinguished Auburn alumnus, was named for him.
Ed DyasEd Dyas served as fullback and kicker for Auburn from 1958-1960. During his senior season in 1960, Dyas led the team in rushing with 451 yards on 89 carries. He also set an NCAA record for most field goals in a season (13) en route to earning All-America and All-SEC honors. In addition to winning the Walter Gilbert, Cliff-Hare and the Bill Streit Awards, Dyas finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Tucker FredricksonTucker Fredrickson was a fullback for Auburn from 1962-1964. Fredrickson was named an All-American, Jacobs Award winner and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1964. Fredrickson was the first overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Pat SullivanPat Sullivan played quarterback for Auburn from 1969-1971 under head coach Shug Jordan. Sullivan led the NCAA in total offense with 2,856 yards, set an NCAA record for most yards per play and tied the NCAA record for most career touchdowns with 71. In his senior season, Sullivan earned Auburn's first Heisman Trophy in addition to Academic All-America honors. He returned to Auburn as quarterbacks coach from 1986-1991.
Terry BeasleyTerry Beasley played for Auburn as wide receiver from 1969-1971 under head coach Shug Jordan. Beasley earned All-America honors in 1970 and 1971, leading the SEC in receptions, receiving yards, and scoring yards. Beasley was the College Pass Receiver of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus in 1970.
Bo JacksonArguably the most famous name associated with Auburn football, Bo Jackson was a standout running back for the Tigers from 1982-85 under head coach Pat Dye. Jackson set the SEC record for yards per carry. Jackson was Auburn's second Heisman Trophy winner in 1985 after compiling the second-best single-season performance in SEC history, rushing for 1,786 yards and 6.4 yards per carry. Jackson's number, 34, is one of only three numbers to be officially retired by Auburn.
Tracy RockerTracy Rocker played defensive tackle for Auburn from 1985-1988 under head coach Pat Dye. Rocker earned All-America honors twice and was an All-SEC selection three times. During his senior season in 1988, Rocker was named overall SEC Player of the Year. Rocker was the first SEC player to win both the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy.