SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Legendary Syracuse University football coach, Dick MacPherson, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86.
Over the past 48 hours, people in and out of the SU football community have expressed their gratitude for MacPherson, popularly known as “Coach Mac.” Coach Mac led the Orange to five bowl games and one undefeated season during his 1981-1990 tenure. In 2009, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Robert Drummond, former SU running back in the late 1980’s, credits Coach Mac for believing in him.
“Coach Mac meant the world to me because of the influence he made in my life. He saw in me what I could not see,” Drummond said.
On Wednesday, Coach Mac’s grandsons, Macky and Cameron, addressed the media at the Ensley Athletic Center to speak on the family’s behalf. Despite his success in football, family always came first.
Macky MacPherson, current offensive graduate assistant with SU football, recalled his grandfather as more of a father figure.
“Not a lot of people know that he helped raise me,” MacPherson said. “He helped shape my view on the world.”
Cameron MacPherson couldn’t recall one favorite moment with his grandfather, but noted a voicemail he still had saved on his phone after a game when he was playing at Georgetown.
“He told me he was proud of me,” MacPherson said. “But, I think we got beat pretty bad.”
It goes without saying that Coach Mac left a footprint in the football community. However, the footprint he left with his family is unmatched.
“He would be in the grandfather hall of fame, too,” Macky MacPherson said.