Former Patriots Coach Dick MacPherson Dies

Former New England Patriots coach Dick MacPherson has died at 86.

Syracuse University said he died Tuesday in a Syracuse hospital with his family at his side. The cause of death was not released.

MacPherson resurrected a declining football program in the 1980s and restored Syracuse to national prominence before returning to the NFL.

The Old Town, Maine, native coached the Patriots from 1991 to 1992, before being replaced by Bill Parcells.

Known for his jocular personality and off-beat comments, MacPherson arrived at Syracuse before the 1981 season. The Orange had slumped through a decade of mediocrity, with only three winning seasons. In 1959, Syracuse was the undefeated national champion. Between 1967 and MacPherson's arrival, the Orange made only one bowl trip.

After two seasons of transition, MacPherson produced a winning team in 1983. By the time he left in 1990, he had a 66-46-4 record, the school's second-winningest coach.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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