Former SU football coach Dick MacPherson passes away at 86

Photo courtesy Syracuse University Athletics

Syracuse University legend Richard "Dick" MacPherson, who led the Orange football team for 10 seasons, died Tuesday at age 86, according to the university.

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.

From there, 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."

SEE ALSO | SU community reacts to passing of SU legend 'Coach Mac'

In a statement, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said beyond his football glory, MacPherson was also a "family man who believed in our community."

"Dick MacPherson was a legend in this community, leading the Orange to an historic, undefeated season in 1987 and five bowl games during his storied career. Most importantly, Coach Mac distinguished himself as a gentleman: a good father and family man who believed in our community. My thoughts and prayers and those of the entire city of Syracuse are with his family tonight." - Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner

MacPherson is survived by his wife Sandra, daughters Maureen and Janet, and four grandchildren: Richard "Macky," Cameron and Susan MacPherson and Molly Sweeney.

Macky and Cameron each played football at SU and Macky remains as a graduate assistant coach.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off