Two coaches on Belichick’s staff have ties to MacPherson: Running backs coach Ivan Fears worked with the Orange’s wide receivers for MacPherson’s full 10 years at SU. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia had spent time on the staffs of Paul Pasqualoni, who was MacPherson’s linebackers coach from 1987-90.
After coaching Syracuse for 10 years, MacPherson became the Patriots’ head coach in 1991 and 92. He went 8-24 at New England and later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
“I knew Dick when he was the head coach at Syracuse,” Belichick said. “A lot of people on his staff we’ve had interconnections with in one way or another. Ivan (Fears), Mike (Woicik), Scott (Pioli), Joe Collier, Randy (Edsall), Paul Pasqualoni, George DeLeone, (Matt) Patricia, (Dante) Scarn(necchia).
“He had a good impact on the game, good impact on this organization, both when he was here and many of the people here worked with him and learned under him. I put myself under that category as well because of my work with all those guys. … Thought he did a great job with the Syracuse program and the coaching staff he had there, virtually all of them went to the NFL and beyond and had successful careers.
“Great guy, great person, really funny guy who got along well with everybody. When you visited Dick at Syracuse you had to bring a couple dozen doughnuts or he wouldn’t let you in, so the first stop was always doughnuts. If you didn’t have them, he’d send you out to get them. He was a good man.”