Courtesy of Nick Mallard - Sentinel & Enterprise
FITCHBURG -- In college athletics, players come and go.
Whether through graduation or transfer, names disappear year after year, only to be replaced by new ones. It's the nature of the beast.
For the better part of four decades, Dean Fuller has been a constant for the Fitchburg State ice hockey team. And while Fuller will be returning to the bench this winter for his 35th season at the helm, he will be without a longtime member of his coaching staff.
Associate head coach Malcolm MacPherson won't be back on the bench this year, retiring after 27 seasons with the Falcons. He also spent nine very successful seasons as the bench boss for the Fitchburg State men's soccer team, twice leading the Falcons to the NCAA tournament, before taking the same job at WPI.
Fuller confirmed MacPherson's decision to retire on Wednesday.
MacPherson had already been the Falcons' men's soccer coach for six seasons when he joined Fuller's staff for the 1989-90 season. A defensive specialist, he was promoted from an assistant coach to associate head coach in 1997 and has been on the bench for the majority of Fuller's 517 career victories.
As a head soccer coach, MacPherson put together a career record of 306-184-34, including a remarkable 108-36-15 mark from 1983-1991 at Fitchburg State -- easily the most wins by any coach in program history. His last season as a head coach came in 2013 as a co-head coach at WPI with Brian Kelley, though he stayed on as an assistant coach for three more seasons in Worcester.
MacPherson led the Engineers to the NCAA tournament in 1992 and won conference titles while at Fitchburg State and WPI.
A 1975 cum laude graduate of Keene State College with a degree in health and physical education, MacPherson will be inducted into WPI's 35th Hall of Fame class on Sept. 8 as part of homecoming weekend.