Remembering the life and legacy of Coach Dick MacPherson

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Legendary Syracuse University Hall of Fame Coach Dick MacPherson has died at the age of 86.

MacPherson coached at SU from 1981 to 1990, was was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

His presence was still felt in Central New York long after he had moved on from coaching.

Friends, family, and those who worked with him all these years on and off the field remembered the beloved Coach Mac on Tuesday.

“To me, he is my grandfather, not Coach Mac.  To others, people still talk about when he coached at Syracuse and that ‘87 season,” said grandson Macky MacPherson. “It is unbelievable that people still talk about and remember that. I am always touched when people come up and talk to my grandfather about the good ole days as they say."

Born on Nov. 4, 1930, Dick MacPherson grew up in Old Town, Maine. 

After a head coaching stint at UMass and a brief stop as an assistant in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Coach Mac landed at SU.

In his 10 seasons at head coach, MacPherson led the Orange to five Bowl games, winning 66 games.

In 1991, MacPherson returned to the NFL as the head coach of the New England Patriots.

MacPherson would step away from the game of football in 1992, taking over a different role. 

Over the last decade, Mac has returned to SU to watch his grandsons, Macky and Cameron, play for the Orange.

“It has been a part of my childhood and my identity for so long. Growing up on Sunday's, going to my grandfather's house and watching NFL games,”Cameron MacPherson recalled.

“When I was little, probably around 5, I wanted to play SU football.  I kind of made that dream come true.  Syracuse University, my grandfather-- it is kind of synonymous,” Macky MacPherson said.

Dick MacPherson is survived by his wife, Sandra, his daughters Maureen and Janet, and four grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, Aug. 10 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hendrick's Chapel at Syracuse University. The service will be held on Friday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. at the same Chapel. 

Parking information:

Starting at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, and again on Friday, at 11:30 a.m., free parking will be available in the University’s lots on the west side of campus.

These lots include Stadium (STAD), Standart (STAND), and Fine (FINE).  

There will be a shuttle service available to transport visitors to and from Hendricks Chapel. For those in need of accessible parking, go directly to the Q1 lot.


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