Rensselaer Athletics mourns John Magadini ’55

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Athletics Department mourns the loss of Athletics Hall of Famer John A. Magadini, who died May 3 at the age of 89.

A recipient of 10 letters, he was a member of Rensselaer’s 1952 national championship lacrosse team and the 1954 national championship hockey team. He was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986 .

Click on HERE for audio interview with John Magadini ’55 driven by Perry Lascaris ’07 in March 2016


Full obituary (Posted by Bailey Funeral Home – Peapack):

John Anthony Magadini, beloved husband, father and coach, died May 3 at his home in Mendham, New Jersey. He was born on July 8, 1932 to Amerigo J. Magadini and Jessie E. Magadini (Skeffington) of Patchogue, New York.

John was a lifelong role model who led through his actions, passion, honesty, leadership and determination throughout his life in his work, coaching and friendships. John is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business engineering in 1955. He excelled in three sports playing ice hockey, lacrosse and football. He won the NCAA division. 1 hockey and lacrosse championships and earned 10 college letters. John was inducted into the RPI Hall of Fame in 1986. Upon graduation, he served as a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps from 1957 to 1960, serving in Korea and Japan, eventually achieving the rank of captain in the reserves.

John married the love of his life, Carol A. Fehlinger, on September 30, 1961, in New York. That year he also began his advertising career in account management at Gray Advertising and later at other major agencies, Doyle Dane Bernbach and Ogilvy and Mather. The Sherwood Hockey Stick Company diverted Mags from advertising to help them design and market their new line of sticks. Through Sherwood, Mags developed her connection with the New York Rangers and developed lasting friendships with many players. After Sherwood, Mags worked for Rawlings Sporting Goods, until he eventually bought the TenPro softball bat manufacturing company from Easton Sports. During this time, Mags helped Easton design and market the first aluminum hockey sticks, beginning the transition from wooden sticks to modern composite sticks. Mags eventually sold TenPro, creating space for his true calling as a coach, teacher, and mentor.

Shortly after leaving Manhattan for New Jersey in 1964, Mags was invited to play a hockey game with the Essex Foxes. After this first match, he was immediately invited to join the Essex Hunt Club on a permanent basis. It was at the Essex Hunt Club that he began his coaching career in 1965, establishing the youth hockey program and coaching generations of Foxes. The impact of Coach Mags has not been limited to Essex. He was the primary architect in creating the Delbarton School as a state hockey powerhouse in the 1980s. He guided Delbarton to its first Mennen Cup title in 1984 and again in 1986 and 1987. He was named Coach of the Year in 1986 by The Star Ledger.
“Mr. Mags” coached the Pingry School from 1996 to 2016, winning the Skylands Cup in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, he was named NJSIAA Hockey Coach of the Year and Coach of the Year by The Courier-News in 2010. He was inducted into the New Jersey High School Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012 and the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2019, Mags was inducted into the Pingry Athletic Hall of Fame. Pingry named him Coach Emeritus in 2020.

John Magadini is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carol Magadini, and their three children, Lisa A. Magadini, John A. Magadini Jr., Peter N. Magadini and his wife Ashlie. He was predeceased by both his parents and his brother Peter.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: St. Jude or the St. Hubert Animal Welfare Center in Madison.

A service celebrating his life will be held at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Gladstone, New Jersey on June 11, 2022, at 11:30 a.m.

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