Alex made his grand entrance to our club in 2014, on a small field in Long Island City. He was hard to miss, as many of you know, given his stature. Almost immediately, he started tapping into the rich experience that our Australian players had to offer. During that season, Alex would soak up all the advice, and work tirelessly on his skill and craft as a dominating ruckman. As Glenn Ormsby, Senior Coach 2010 – 2014 recalled, “Alex was as imposing a figure on the field as we’ve seen. His attack on the ball, his fearlessness, and his work ethic were second to none and he was a major factor in the club’s 2014 National Championship.” And while the year culminated with Flag for the Magpies (greatly aided by his dominating presence on the field), it was Alex’ larger than life personality that has etched its way into club lore. Ormsby continued, “…[it was] off the field that Alex was perhaps even more impressive. He was a man of outstanding character, a natural leader and his witty sense of humor could break the ice in any situation. I am a better person for knowing Alex and will always treasure my time with him”.
Today we laid our teammate and friend, Alex Aurrichio, to rest. As the Magpie community mourns the loss of one of our own it has become incredibly evident the impact he had on our club, the USAFL, and across Australia. We are only one community that Alex touched, which is a testament to the man he was. After graduating from Columbia University, where he was a two-sport college athlete, Alex, ever-adventurous, took a shot at a wholly foreign sport in the pursuit of new challenges and dreams.
NY Magpies Chairman and teammate, Ojas (Juice) Desai emphatically agreed and mused “With all of his impact, what stands out to me is how humble he was and his desire to learn the sport. He knew he was a novice and thus dedicated himself to learning the finer points of the game from seasoned veterans. The big man quickly became a leader on the team given his discipline and work ethic and was someone the leadership knew they could rely on in key moments. It’s perhaps not a coincidence that NY went on to win the Grand Final in his first year with Alex being the key man in the middle…he was the ruckman after all!”
After his first season with the Pies, the club knew that with his physical gifts, discipline, and intelligence he could move on to bigger things in terms of footy. We knew that the AFL caught a glimpse of his talent and potential at the AFL combine. It was no surprise that he was selected to go to Australia and play with the VFL’s Northern Blues after one full year of Australian football under his belt. For most of the senior members of the club, we received as much joy in his selection to the Northern Blues as a parent would of their child.
The friendships he forged amongst his teammates left a lasting impression, long after he pursued his dream in Australia and will continue to be cherished long after his untimely passing. He represented the best of the New York Magpies and the U.S.A. We are proud to have been part of his journey. We hope you will join us in remembering Alex, not only as an incredible athlete but as a friend, son, brother, and all-around genuine human. We also wanted to provide an opportunity for some fellow Magpies to speak about Alex.
Alex was one of the most unique individuals I have ever met. His physical presence was hard to miss, but for all his size and strength, those who met him were immediately touched by his character, work ethic, and powerful mind. His huge smile and enthusiasm for life were obvious to all, but behind that stood a truly humble and grounded man. He was fearless in learning and demanded the best from himself. Through his sheer determination, he accomplished the nearly impossible as an American playing in the VFL and SANFL. We all loved him – he was such an easy guy to root for and we all knew he was destined for great things. Even those he battled fiercely against on the pitch were quick to extend a hand after the match. I am so lucky to have met him and will miss him dearly”
-Ed McCormick, Player / Club Officer 2005 – 2017, New York Magpies
”The Most Caring Man in the World, that’s who Alex Aurrichio was!
He cared so much about his family and his friends – if you needed him, he was ALWAYS there.
He cared about being his absolute best – NO ONE worked harder and enjoyed the “grind” more than Alex.
He cared about his teammates – he was the first one there for a teammate, on and off the field.
He cared about winning – just a competitive beast.
He cared about living life to its fullest and having self-belief – who else would embark on a journey to the other side of the world to play a foreign sport and make the sacrifices that he did, and refuse to give up on his dream.
He cared about kids – he was incredible with our daughter when he lived with us; my nieces and nephews truly thought he was their personal superhero; he loved the kids he coached and they loved him.
Most of all he cared about himself – what truly stood out about Alex, was that he knew exactly who he was and what he stood for – integrity, honesty, doing the right thing, being fit and healthy, maximum effort, loyalty, being very clear about was important to him in life.
Alex epitomized what you look for in a friend, child, coach, and teammate. He cared!”
– JD Daniher, Player 2007 – 2011, New York Magpies.
“I will always remember Alex for his competitive spirit, relentless dedication, and most of all, for his good heart. As someone who found the positive in each situation, he was always quick with a movie reference and an affirmative hoorah baby. Those attitudes made him not only successful on the field, but off the field as well, in the many endeavors he pursued.”
– Andrew Manfredi, past player 2012 – 2018, New York Magpies.
Being Alex’s teammate was electric. He was incredibly genuine in every interaction that he had, and at the same time, he effortlessly made you want to go out into the world to be better, train harder, approach hurdles thoughtfully, and laugh about it all a little louder.
-Drea Casillas, Player and President, New York Magpies
Donations can still be sent to the GoFundMe set up to help get his family through this tragic time. We look forward to celebrating his life in the coming months.