SU community reacts to passing of SU legend 'Coach Mac'

Photo courtesy Syracuse University Athletics

The Syracuse Orange community is reacting with sadness to the passing of Syracuse University legend Richard "Dick" MacPherson, who died Tuesday at age 86.

"Everybody loves coach," said Bill Nestor, who's a co-owner of Manny's on Marshall Street on the SU hill. "He's done so much for the Syracuse community, the Syracuse Football team."

MacPherson, otherwise known as "Coach Mac," was head coach when the Orange went undefeated in 1987 and led the team to five bowl games, which they won four of. Overall, MacPherson-led Orange teams went 66-46-4 during his tenure from 1981 to 1990.

Nestor says he has a fond memory of MacPherson coming into his shop. "I definitely remember in 84' he came in the store and had a conversation with me," Nestor said. "He put his arm around me and it was very professional, very interesting and very warm-hearted."

After coaching for SU, MacPherson went on to be head coach of the New England Patriots. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, current Orange football head coach Dino Babers said, "Syracuse Football lost a great one today. Thoughts and prayers are with the MacPherson family.

In a tweet of his own, Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim said, "Sad to hear about the passing of Coach Mac. He loved Syracuse! The Boeheim Family sends prayers to Sandra and the MacPhersons."

In a statement Tuesday evening, SU Director of Athletics John Wildhack said MacPherson "will forever be part of Syracuse Athletics and the Syracuse Community."

“Coach Mac was much more than a football coach. He was everything to everybody, including his family, our community, our football program, and college football. He left an indelible impact on everyone he touched. Coach Mac and his family will forever be part of Syracuse Athletics and the Syracuse community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sandra, their daughters and their grandchildren.” - John Wildhack, Syracuse University Director of Athletics

Former player Tim Green, who played at Syracuse under MacPherson and went on to play in the NFL, said "I don't have adequate words to express my love and gratitude for Coach Mac."

“I am silenced by my grief. I don’t have adequate words to express my love and gratitude for Coach Mac. He will live on in my heart and in the hearts of anyone who ever knew him. My thoughts, prayers and love are with Sandra and their family.” - Tim Green
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