News & Events

Pingry News & Events

More News

2022 'Blue Book' Is Dedicated to John Magadini

During a heartfelt ceremony on June 9, the staff of Pingry's 2022 Blue Book announced that this year's dedicatee is John Magadini—"Mags"—who had passed away in early May. Having worked at Pingry from 1996 to 2022, Mags was the beloved Head Coach of the Boys' Varsity Ice Hockey Team for 20 years, Head Coach Emeritus, a Permanent Substitute Teacher, and a valued friend to so many. He was also a proud Marine who spoke at Pingry's Veterans Day Assemblies and shared the United States Marine Corps' values with Pingry students.

Here are excerpts from the dedication, which his family attended:

"A coach, teacher, mentor, and a friend, he was a positive presence who could easily put a smile on someone's face with a simple 'Yo!' or 'Hoorah!' I so hope that he knew how much he was loved, admired, and cherished by us all."
- Editor-in-Chief Gia Graziano '22

"Mags did it all, from NCAA championships to serving our country to earning accolades here at Pingry as a coach . . . His energy and positivity was contagious and effortlessly lit up a room. Where the role of a permanent sub seems pretty straightforward, Mags used it as an opportunity to have a profound and personal impact on every student he was able to come in contact with . . . Even if you weren't lucky enough to have him as a sub, seeing Mags in transit and getting a 'Yo!' was always enough to put some pep in your step for the rest of the day . . . There's always so much we can learn from him and his attitude and his approach to life: be respectful; kindness; and have fun."
- Student Body President Giles Burnett '22

"Pingry has a unique military heritage. Since our school's inception in 1861, in conflicts ranging from the Civil War to the global war on terror, over 1,100 students and faculty have served in the defense of our nation. Mr. Magadini, Mags, exemplified the greatest attributes of any of these service members. What sets Mags apart from the admirals and generals who've also graced these halls is his innate sense of kindness. My freshman year, I was interested in pursuing a path that would lead me to commissioning as an officer in the military . . . it was Mr. Magadini who truly inspired and ignited our passion for military service and leadership, turning a vague notion we held into an honorable endeavor. Mr. Magadini bestowed upon us the immense knowledge and perspective on what it means to serve. He taught us the importance of leadership, the value of teamwork, and the significance of accountability."
­- Jack Martin '22, Co-Founder of Pingry's Veterans Affairs Club

"It's strange to think that I only knew Mags for seven years—he had such a great impact on my life that it felt much longer. When I first arrived at Pingry in 2015, I spent most of my time with Mags . . . I was getting a real-time education in how to be a great person—call it 'Mags 101.' Mags had a focus in conversations we don't see today. That's lesson one—be present. Lesson two was be humble. It's lesson three—his ability to build relationships—that I'll remember most about Mags as a coach. He had this rare ability to be demanding of his players, yet form these special bonds with them . . . and these relationships weren't fleeting. Mags' commitment to sustaining, and even growing, these relationships long after players had left Pingry was remarkable. Lesson four—make the effort necessary to stay connected. Lastly, lesson five—treat people with respect. It didn't matter to Mags if you were faculty, staff, Upper School student, Middle School student, or a stranger at the rink. He treated everyone the same. He didn't want anything from you. He wanted to brighten your day, lift your spirit, or just make a new connection . . . I hope, with his passing, we all take a little bit of Mags and share it with the people in our lives."
- Scott Garrow, College Counselor; Head Coach of the Boys' Varsity Ice Hockey Team

The Blue Book staff also announced that Pingry's Facilities Team aided in the planting of a magnolia tree in honor of Mr. Magadini, located across from Parsons Field, next to the Softball Field.

This was John Magadini's second "Blue Book" dedication. The first was in 2010.

Contact: Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer, Editor of The Pingry Review