Welcome into a new addition we are doing at the Fizz, where we rank the top three coaches in Syracuse football. On Monday we will reveal the second best coach in SU’s history, then in one week our No. 1 coach will be revealed. Make sure to check back in to check out the rankings.
This list begins with Dick MacPherson as the third best SU coach of all-time. MacPherson was a 2009 College Football Hall of Fame inductee. He also coached the Orange for 10 seasons, including an undefeated 1987 season when Syracuse tied with Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. Throughout his time, he went 66-46-4.
In 1984, with Syracuse welcoming the top-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers to the Carrier Dome, the Orange pulled off the greatest upset in program history. After overcoming a deficit in the second-half, Syracuse ended up winning 17-9.
MacPherson righted the program after taking over from Frank Maloney who had a winning percentage of .410 in seven seasons. Eventually, MacPherson left to become head coach of the New England Patriots with Paul Pasqualoni taking over.
Over his tenure, Macpherson sent 36 players to the NFL. Included in that list are guys like Tim Green and Ted Gregory who were both first round picks. When he was selected in 1986, Green was Syracuse’s highest draft pick since Joe Ehrmann in 1973. Green was a two time All-American and continues to hold various records for the Orange. No player has touched Green’s 45.5 sacks or 341 tackles by a defensive linemen. The Liverpool, NY native was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame before his head coach in 2002.
After rejuvenating the Orange, MacPherson set Pasqualoni up for a successful run as SU continued to produce talented playmakers. Under MacPherson, Syracuse reached some of the highest peaks in program history.