Dick MacPherson

Dick MacPherson
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1930-11-04)November 4, 1930
Old Town, Maine
Died August 8, 2017(2017-08-08) (aged 86)
Syracuse, New York
Playing career
1950s Springfield (MA)
Position(s) Center, linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1958 Illinois (GA)
1959–1960 UMass (assistant)
1961–1965 Cincinnati (assistant)
1966 Maryland (DB)
1967–1970 Denver Broncos (LB/DB)
1971–1977 UMass
1978–1980 Cleveland Browns (LB)
1981–1990 Syracuse
1991–1992 New England Patriots
Head coaching record
Overall 111–73–5 (college)
8–24 (NFL)
Bowls 4–1–1
Tournaments 0–1 (NCAA Division II playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
4 Yankee (1971–1972, 1974, 1977)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1987)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (1987)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (1987)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (1987)
Sporting News College Football COY (1987)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award (1987)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2009 (profile)

Richard F. MacPherson (November 4, 1930 August 8, 2017) was an American football coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1971 to 1977 and at Syracuse University from 1981 to 1990, compiling a career college football record of 111–73–5. MacPherson was the head coach of the National Football League's New England Patriots from 1991 to 1992, tallying a mark of 8–24. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2009.

Coaching career

MacPherson's record at Syracuse was 66–46–4 and included an undefeated season in 1987, when his team finished 11–0–1 and tied Auburn in the 1988 Sugar Bowl. After the 1990 season he left Syracuse to become head coach of the New England Patriots and was replaced by assistant Paul Pasqualoni. MacPherson coached the Pats from 1991 to 1992 and received strong consideration for Coach of the Year honors in 1991, turning around a team that went 1–15 in 1990 and leading them to a 6–10 record in his first season. However, in his second season the team started four different quarterbacks and went 2–14. MacPherson was subsequently fired at the end of the season.[1]

MacPherson also served as an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos and the Cleveland Browns.[2]

Later life

MacPherson provided commentary during radio coverage of Syracuse football games for several seasons.[2] He was honored as the Grand Marshal at the 28th Annual Syracuse St. Patrick's Parade[3] in 2010.

MacPherson died surrounded by his family at the Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York on August 8, 2017, at the age of 86.[4]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall ConferenceStanding Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
UMass Redmen/Minutemen (Yankee Conference) (1971–1977)
1971 UMass 4–4–13–1–1T–1st
1972 UMass 9–25–01stW Boardwalk
1973 UMass 6–54–23rd
1974 UMass 5–64–2T–1st
1975 UMass 8–24–12nd
1976 UMass 5–53–22nd
1977 UMass 8–35–01stL NCAA Division II Quarterfinal
UMass: 45–27–127–8–1
Syracuse Orangemen (NCAA Division I-A Independent) (1981–1990)
1981 Syracuse 4–6–1
1982 Syracuse 2–9
1983 Syracuse 6–5
1984 Syracuse 6–5
1985 Syracuse 7–5L Cherry
1986 Syracuse 5–6
1987 Syracuse 11–0–1T Sugar44
1988 Syracuse 10–2W Hall of Fame1213
1989 Syracuse 8–4W Peach
1990 Syracuse 7–4–2W Aloha21
Syracuse: 66–46–4
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


TeamYearRegular SeasonPost Season
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
NE1991 6100.3754th in AFC East
NE1992 2140.1255th in AFC East
NE Total8240.250

Coaching tree

Assistant coaches under Dick MacPherson who became NCAA head coaches:


  1. "Dick MacPherson: I made a huge mistake in going to New England". syracuse.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  2. 1 2 "Dick MacPherson, who'll be celebrated Saturday, took this town on terrific football ride". syracuse.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  3. "Syracuse St. Patrick's Parade - Grand Marshal". syracusestpatricksparade.org. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  4. "Former Syracuse football coach Dick MacPherson dies at 86 years old". Syracuse.com. August 8, 2017. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
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