SU alums remember "Coach Mac"
“As soon as he walked into a room, everybody shut up. That’s how much respect he carried.”
Danny Conley sums it up best.
Coach Dick MacPherson commanded respect, but he did so with his kindness and caring for every person.
It didn't matter if he knew you 30 years or 30 seconds.
"Coach Mac" would greet you with a hug, a handshake and a "God love ya"
"In my case when he first arrived at SU, I was a work study assistant for him, really one of the lowest people on the totem pole in the football office, but treated me like I was the star quarterback" Sean McDonough from ESPN's Monday Night Football told me on Tuesday.
“Brightened every room that he ever walked into" McDonough adds.
Coach Mac took over Syracuse Football in 1981, leaving after the 1990 season to lead the New England Patriots for two seasons.
He's credited, and rightfully so, with restoring Syracuse to glory with the high point being the magical undefeated 1987 season where Syracuse went 11-0-1 after a bid to the Sugar Bowl.
Even when talking about the football accolades, which landed him in the College Football Hall of Fame, it still all comes down to his personality and his charisma.
That's what laid the foundation for everything else.
“He had the ability to speak his morals, his convictions while speaking football. That’s what made guys want to come to Syracuse and play for him" says Don McPherson, the 1987 Heisman Trophy runner-up that quarterbacked SU to that incredible 1987 campaign.
So many consider that time and the decade that followed one of the golden eras of Syracuse Football.
“Coach P inherited a hot rod" says Conley.
Coach MacPherson will always be remembered for bringing you a smile from near or far because of his work.
Syracuse University and the city itself will never forget him.