BARDONIA, N.Y. - The Albertus Magnus, Rockland County and Hudson Valley athletic communities are all mourning a big loss -- Joe McGuinness, a longtime coach and athletic director at Albertus Magnus High School, died Feb. 12 after battling cancer.
He was 55.
Born Nov. 18,1960 in Suffern to John J. and Florence McGuinness, McGuinness graduated from Clarkstown South High School and Manhattan College.
A New City resident, McGuinness had previously attended West Point where he played basketball under now Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Krzyzewski wrote a letter of recommendation earlier this year supporting McGuinness' nomination to the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame. You can read the letter here. McGuinness will be inducted posthumously into the hall later this year.
He married the former Cynthia Pierce of Manhasset, NY on June 6, 1987. He is survived by Cynthia and his three children, Megan, Patrick and Conor, and by 24 nieces and nephews. His family was his life.
"Joe was a wonderful guy - a great husband, teacher and coach," Albertus Magnus interim AD Tom Collins told Daily Voice. "There were over 2,000 people at his funeral. He had an affection for people, and people had an affection for Joe."
Approximately 4,000 attended a wake held for McGuinness at Albertus.
"His ability to be an athletic director, coach and teacher were second to none," Collins said. "He made ordinary players and people better. And everyone will tell you the same thing. He was very strong. He was a once-in-a-lifetime type of guy."