Coach Mac Dies at 86, Credited with Re-energizing SU Football in 1980s

Aug 8, 2017

Former SU and NFL Coach Dick MacPherson died Tuesday at age 86.

The Syracuse University community was struck with a loss Tuesday as beloved former Football Coach Dick MacPherson died.  Coach Mac is credited with ramping up enthusiasm for the program. 

(More on Coach Mac's Career Here)

He was at the helm for the team’s undefeated season in 1987.  His last season ended in a bowl game…the 1990 Aloha Bowl , a 28-to-nothing win over Arizona of the Pac 10 conference.  In this archival post-game sound, Coach Mac was standing up for East Coast football.

“We’re very proud to represent the east.  The Pac 10 was talking about being 4-0 in bowl games last year.  They’re very proud of it.  This year is a down year in the East; only 2 teams are coming out of the East, no there’s only one team out of the East. There used to be 2, but now that team is in the Midwest.” 

That was a dig against Penn State, which joined the Big 10 conference that year, and ended a long-time rivalry with S-U.   

MacPherson's teams went to 5 bowl games in an 8-year- span, after the team had been to only one bowl in the previous 19 seasons.
Credit wikipedia

His senior class of 1990 played in four consecutive bowl games…leading to the Aloha Bowl victory.  They were undefeated in all four…leading Coach Mac to praise his seniors.

“I can’t say enough for the football players.  A shutout is a tough thing to get in this day and age with high-powered offenses.  I think that they had a great time.  I think you all know the record the seniors have set and we’re going to put a game ball for the seniors, the standard setters.”

Coach Mac left S-U to coach the N-F-L’s New England Patriots.  He later returned to the Syracuse area as a beloved community member and commentator on Syracuse Football broadcasts.  His grandsons, Macky and Cameron both played for S-U.  Macky MacPherson is now on the staff of current Coach Dino Babers. 

Dick MacPherson died of natural causes at Crouse Hospital…he was 86.