Springfield, Mass. - August 9, 2017 - Springfield College has learned that alumnus and legendary collegiate and professional football coach Dick MacPherson '58 passed way on Tuesday, August 8. He was 86 years old.
MacPherson was a 1958 graduate of Springfield College, where he was a captain and offensive lineman for the Springfield College football team. MacPherson was inducted into the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, August 10 at Hendricks Chapel in Syracuse, N.Y. at 5 p.m. His funeral will be held on Friday, August 11 at 2 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. Both services will be open to members of the public wishing to pay their respect.
"Coach MacPherson was a tremendous ambassador for not only the sport of football, but for Springfield College as well," commented head Springfield College football coach Mike Cerasuolo. "His life revolved around helping others, and he fully embodied the Springfield College mission and Humanics philosophy throughout the entirety of his illustrious career. He continuously gave back to Springfield College and our football program, and was a mentor to hundreds of coaches and student-athletes."
MacPherson was a member of the Springfield College football team from 1954-1957, and was elected as a captain prior to his senior season. Over the course of his four-year career, Springfield College posted an overall record of 22-9-1.
"We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of the legendary Dick MacPherson," said Springfield College Director of Athletics, Dr. Craig Poisson. ' He was an extraordinary advocate for Springfield College and even better man. He will be missed."
Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, MacPherson began his head coaching career at UMass Amherst, where he was at the helm of the football program from 1971-1977, leading the team to four Yankee Conference Championships. After leaving UMass, MacPherson went on to coach at Syracuse University from 1981-1990, during which he guided the Orange to five postseason bowls, including his undefeated 1987 squad's Sugar Bowl appearance.
Prior to leaving Syracuse to coach in the NFL with the New England Patriots, MacPherson compiled a record of 66-46-4 with the Orange. He was 36-10-3 over the final five years. MacPherson then returned to Syracuse to serve as a color commentator on television and radio broadcasts, where his passion for Syracuse endeared him to his listeners.
MacPherson is survived by his wife, Sandra, his daughters Maureen and Janet, and four grandchildren, Macky, Cameron and Susan MacPherson and Molly Sweeney.