Long time Syracuse football coach Dick MacPherson was honored by the SU football program and university prior to the school’s game versus Wake Forest. Coach Mac served at the helm of the team for a decade, leading the program to it’s best single season in school history during his tenure. He had an old fashioned approach to the game, one that echoed through his choice idioms that his players fondly remembered; Tim Green, a former All-American for Syracuse, recalls Coach saying “God bless America and all the ships at sea”, “Men, learn to do what you do”, as well as, “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts every day would be Christmas.”
Tim recalls him and teammates fondly imitating their beloved coach repeating his catchphrases. “We’d do our best Coach mac imitation…”
Catching up with a teammate, Todd Norley and comparing how they have reached their levels in life they both can relate to the Coach Mac-ism of learning to do what they do. Falling back on such a simple idiom helped both men achieve great things in life and continue to achieve as their lives continue.
As all of his players reflected on his life, it is safe to say that Coach Mac had a profound impact on the young men he molded into men. Being in a position of authority for young teenagers when they are just being exposed to freedom places a lot of formative power in the hands of one man. It seems, from the resumes of his former players, that Coach Mac’s impression has been a positive one.