Given his lofty stature in Southeastern Conference history, Archie Manning’s comments are some of the most respected in the entire Southeast.

In addition to being one of the most notable players in Ole Miss football history, Manning is also the current chairman of the National Football Foundation.

While Pat Dye and Johnny Majors have each played and coached at programs that rival Ole Miss, Manning still respected two of the best coaches in the league’s storied history and issued the following statement upon learning of each man’s passing this week:

“We lost two legends this week with the passing of College Football Hall of Fame inductees Pat Dye and Johnny Majors. Both were fierce competitors, but they knew how to leave it all on the field. Off the field, they had a deep passion for impacting the countless young men who they coached. Their memories will live on in those young men.

“I feel blessed to have known them both personally, and I will miss them both, especially at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner each December.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and the schools where they coached and played.”

While they may have been rivals at times, it’s great to see the level of respect Manning had for the two SEC legends.