Syracuse Orange: Six names worthy of the SU Athletics Ring of Honor

Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

Syracuse University recently announced two new names for the Syracuse Orange Ring of Honor in the JMA Wireless Dome.

According to a press release from the Syracuse Athletics Department, SU basketball legend and former NBA great Dave Bing and former Syracuse football head coach Ben Schwartzwalder will both be honored during the 2023-2024 athletics calendar.

For those wondering, this is a different honor than the jersey retirement/placed in the rafters. Established in 2020, only 6 other Syracuse Orange names have this honor (Jim Boeheim, Pearl Washington, Roy Simmons Jr., Jim Brown, Floyd Little and Ernie Davis).

I have absolutely zero issues with these being the first 8 due to their impact on the history of SU Athletics. But I also have a list of 6 people whom I think their impact led to such a legacy that they should also be added. This list is in no particular order but simply 6 names I think worthy of the honor.

Dick MacPherson

The first three names on this list are football legendary names who definitely influenced my fandom so maybe I’m biased but I still believe them worthy. And I’ll start with former Syracuse Orange football coach Dick MacPherson.

I love Coach Mac. The legendary number 44 and the 1987 football season are two huge reasons I’m the fan I am today. And since that was one of his 10 seasons as head coach and they went undefeated that season, I think that alone deserves special recognition.

But Coach Mac also deserves the honor for all he did to help the program even after his coaching career including joining the broadcast booth where his personality and enthusiasm added to the broadcast. Sadly, we lost Coach in 2017 but I was there the day they honored him at the Dome and it’s my favorite memory of a game in person.

Don McPherson

Speaking of that 1987 season, let’s add the quarterback for that team to the list as well. My love for Don McPherson is one I openly admit but it’s for the same reasons I believe his name worthy of this honor.

He led the Syracuse Orange football program in one of the best seasons in program history behind the 1959 national championship team. But he’s also a man whose work in the community and his help mentoring grown men is undeniably inspiring. He’s also worked with various local charitable organizations like Vera House over the years as well and is a positive influence on the university and the football program.

Chris Gedney

Again, former Syracuse Orange football great Chris Gedney is someone who inspired me, so maybe I’m biased. However, his football career is also only part of his legacy and is a name we should never forget. His SU and NFL career as a tight end were exceptional and so was what he brought to the booth alongside Matt Park on color commentary during Syracuse football games. Chris did so much for the betterment of the program and university and I think deserving of this honor for his legacy and his family he left behind when he passed in 2018.

Carmelo Anthony

2003 National Champion. Potential first-ballot Basketball Hall of Fame player. Carmelo Anthony Basketball Complex. Need I say more? His legacy, the profile of his name and his generosity towards giving back make him a no-brainer for the honor.

Wilmeth Sidat-Singh

Many know Ernie Davis was the first African-American to win the Heisman but did you know that the first African-American athlete to play for the Syracuse Orange was named Wilmeth Sidat-Singh? Wilmeth played both football and basketball in the 1930s before becoming a fighter pilot in the Tuskegee Airmen. Sadly he passed at the age of 25 during a training run but his impact is still one that deserves recognition and reflection. His jersey was retired in 2005 but I think if there’s going to be a Ring of Honor, he’s one that should be in it.

Lisa Miller

Unless you follow Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse, this name might be unfamiliar to you but her influence is undeniable nonetheless. Lisa Miller was the coach who helped establish the program and coached for 10 seasons before leaving to coach at Harvard University. Lisa coached many greats including Katie Rowan and left Syracuse on top as 2007 Big East Coach of the Year with over 100 wins in her 10 seasons. Many credit Gary Gait for the success of the program and rightfully so but I think without the impact of Coach Miller as well, there’s a chance it doesn’t have the success it has now.

Next. Syracuse Orange: A sports season of Orange in poetic form, Billy Joel style. dark