NEW YORK – It is with great sadness that the Intercollegiate Athletics Department at Columbia University has learned of the passing of Alexander Aurrichio ’12CC. A former star player for the men’s football and baseball teams, Aurrichio was killed in a cycling accident in the Northern Territory of Australia on Monday. He was 30 years old.
“Our sincere condolences go out to Alex’s parents, siblings and family,” said the Columbia men’s football head coach. Kevin anderson, which coached Aurricio from 2008-2011. “Words cannot describe the impact they all have had on our program and as individuals.
Alex’s love and passion for men’s football from Columbia and his teammates was second to none. When he walked into a room, you knew it, and he made you feel it deep in your soul. Personality and his smile were even bigger than him, he was a guy who always looked to grow, challenged himself, held guys accountable and only played to win while really enjoying the challenge and the opportunity.
“Mrs Aurrichio is the reason we have the post-game meals as a family. She came to see me one day and said to me: ‘we have to have post-game meals for the family and the players. so that we can start to become a community and celebrate being together It will definitely be better when we win games. She took the lead and these meals continue today.
“Alex was the start of change for this program. He made the best of each day and everyone. He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.”
During his four years at Columbia, Aurrichio was a starter on the men’s soccer and baseball teams. He secured the starting goalie position in his first semester on campus in the fall of 2008 and has maintained it throughout his senior year. As a sophomore, he played every minute of every game into goal, registering 76 saves including nine shutout saves against nationally ranked Dartmouth.
The Half Hollow Hills West High School product was also impressive on the baseball field. Aurrichio has been drafted into the All-Ivy League twice, including a sophomore first-team winner after hitting 13 home runs, a record for the team. He ended his career third on Columbia’s all-time home run list (23), adding 88 RBIs and 69 RBIs in 140 career games. His 13 circuits of 2010 still rank third in single-season history.
“We were deeply saddened to learn of Alex’s passing and send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” said the Columbia head coach. Brett Boretti, who also coached Aurricio for four years. “My players and staff always thought Alex was the funniest player, who was a great teammate and person every day. He was a huge personality that everyone fed off and loved to be around.”
A native of Dix Hills, New York, Aurrichio moved to Australia in 2014 in hopes of pursuing a career in the Australian Football League.
Over the past five years, Aurrichio has represented numerous clubs across Australia. He recently played for Waratah Football Club in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL). The club issued a statement to the Aurrichio family which read in part: “Please rest assured knowing [Alex] was loved by his family, spreading throughout Australia. His Waratah teammates are currently reuniting to support each other after the loss of their beloved teammate. ”
Aurrichio will be remembered by his former teammates around the world for his dedication to his sport and for being the teammate everyone turned to for advice. In a 2015 interview with AFL.com.au, Aurrichio said:
âI want to be a professional athlete. So I want to do whatever it takes to make it happen, even if it means coming halfway around the world.
“… It’s going to be harder, but nothing worth fighting is easy … It’s not going to happen overnight, but I believe in myself.”
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