Patriots Talk: Belichick Saddened By Death Of Dick MacPherson
On Tuesday, Former Patriots head coach Dick MacPherson passed away at the age of 86.
MacPherson was named the 11th head coach of the Patriots on Jan. 7, 1991, and served as head coach for two seasons. Prior to New England, he was the head coach at Syracuse for 10 years.
The former coach took over a Patriots team that finished with a 1-15 record and led the team to a five-game improvement in his first season. He helped lead the Patriots to victories over three 1991 playoff teams and a 6-10 finish. The five-game improvement helped MacPherson to finish fifth in NFL Coach of the Year balloting.
On Wednesday, current Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick gave his thoughts on MacPherson’s passing.
“Yeah, sad day. I knew Dick when he was the head coach at Syracuse, and of course a lot of the people on his staff we’ve had interconnections with in one way or another – Ivan [Fears], Mike Woicik, Scott [Pioli], Joel Collier, Randy [Edsall], Paul Pasqualoni, Norm [Gerber], George DeLeone, Matt Patricia. Of course, [Dante Scarnecchia] worked for him here.
So, I knew Dick pretty well. And then, in ‘91 and ‘92 – those were my first two years in the league and I think they were his first two years in the league here, too – so we kind of connected as new coaches in the NFL, plus our prior relationship.
Great guy, great person, really funny, funny guy, got along well with everybody, but he did a very good job with the Syracuse program. And, certainly, the coaching staff he had there was one that’s pretty much all of them have gone on to the NFL or beyond and had very successful careers. When you went to see Dick at Syracuse, you had to bring in a couple dozen donuts or he wouldn’t let you in. So, first stop was always donuts on the way to Syracuse.
If you didn’t have those donuts, then he sent you back out. You had to go get them. Dick is a great guy and our condolences to his family. He had a good impact on the game, a good impact on this organization, both when he was here and, as I said, many of the people who are here worked with him and learned under him. And I kind of put myself in that category, as well, because of my interactions with all those guys, all the coaches that I mentioned. Dick was a good man.”