John Anthony Magadini, beloved husband, father, and coach passed away on May 3rd, at his home in Mendham, New Jersey. He was born July 8th, 1932, to Amerigo J. Magadini and Jessie E. Magadini (Skeffington) of Patchogue, New York.
John was a lifelong role model who led by his actions, passion, honesty, leadership, and determination throughout his life in his work, his coaching, and his friendships. John graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Management Engineering in 1955. He was a three-sport standout playing ice hockey, lacrosse, and football. He won NCAA Div. 1 Championships for both hockey and lacrosse and he earned 10 varsity letters. John was inducted into the RPI Hall of Fame in 1986. After graduating he served as First Lieutenant Officer in the United States Marine Corps from 1957-1960, serving in Korea and Japan, eventually earning the rank of Captain in the Reserves.
John married the love of his life, Carol A. Fehlinger, on September 30th, 1961, in New York City. That year he also began his advertising career in Account Management at Grey Advertising, and went on to other major agencies, Doyle Dane Bernbach and Ogilvy and Mather. The Sherwood Hockey Stick Company lured Mags away from advertising to help them design and market their new line of sticks. Through Sherwood, Mags developed his connection with the NY Rangers and developed lifelong friendships with many of the players. After Sherwood, Mags worked for Rawlings Sporting Goods, until he eventually purchased the TenPro softball bat manufacturing company from Easton Sports. During this time Mags helped Easton to design and market the first Aluminum hockey sticks, initiating the transition away from wood sticks to the modern composite sticks. Mags eventually sold TenPro, creating space for his true calling as a coach, teacher and mentor.
Shortly after moving to New Jersey from Manhattan in 1964, Mags was invited to pick up in a hockey game with the Essex Foxes. After that first game he was immediately invited to join the Essex Hunt Club on a permanent basis. The Essex Hunt Club is where he started his coaching career in 1965, establishing the youth hockey program and coaching generations of Foxes. Coach Mags’ impact was not limited to Essex. He was the major architect in establishing Delbarton School as a state hockey power during 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 at the Pingry School from 1996 to 2016, winning the Skylands Cup in 2011 & 2012. In 2004, he was named Hockey Coach of the Year by the NJSIAA, 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 preceded in death by both his parents, and his brother Peter.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: St. Jude’s or St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison.
A service celebrating his life will be held at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Gladstone, New Jersey on June 11th, 2022, at 11:30 a.m.