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Former Syracuse Football Coach MacPherson Dies at 86

In seasons, there are highs and lows, wins and losses. Tuesday, the football world suffered one of its bigger losses in recent times. Former Syracuse football and New England Patriots coach Dick MacPherson died at 86 years old.

The college football hall of famer is reported to have passed away at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse while surrounded by family.

MacPherson is truly engrained in SU football’s history. Syracuse’s head coach for a decade, MacPherson’s résumé includes a 66-46-4 record, making him the school’s second-winningest coach.

He went a career 111-73-5 as a college football coach. MacPherson also filled various coaching roles at the University of Illinois, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Maryland. His most notable position of these is when he served as head coach of UMass from 1971 to 1977.

He turned around an SU football program that had only been to one bowl in the 13 years before he took over as coach.

Known for his enthusiasm on the sidelines, MacPherson helped raise Syracuse football’s ranking to fourth in the nation in 1987. That year SU went 11-0-1 mark, winning every game but a tie with Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.

He led the Syracuse football program to four consecutive bowl appearances from 1987 to 1990. He brought the team to bowls in five of his last six years at SU.

MacPherson moved on from Syracuse to become head coach of the New England Patriots. He served there for two seasons.

But his time in Central New York was not finished. Later, he came back to the Syracuse fan base on television and radio as a color commentator.

Coach MacPherson left a legacy to be remembered by many.

Published: David Edelstein

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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