Godfather of Penn State men's hockey

After 19 years of coaching the Penn State hockey team, Joe Battista will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Nov. 3.   Battista has led the Icers to six national titles and helped lay the foundation for the Nittany Lion varsity programs.

As a Penn State student, Battista was team captain on the Icers club team. He graduated in 1982 and became the program's head coach in 1987.  In addition to the six titles, the team won 10 consecutive ACHA championships under Battista's leadership. Over his 19 years as coach, he won 512 games. 

In addition to being head coach, Battista played a pivotal role in establishing Penn States NCAA Division I men's and women's varsity ice hockey programs and obtaining a $102 million gift from Terry and Kim Pegula for the construction of Pegula Ice Arena. Beginning in 2010, he served as an associate athletic director and later as executive director of the Nittany Lion Club.  

Beyond Penn State, Battista was the Pittsburgh Penguins' first director of amateur hockey development and the first head coach of the Amateur Penguins junior team. At some point he also served as a vice president for the Buffalo Sabres.

Battista still resides in the State College area and is both founder and owner of Pragmatic Passion Consulting.  In addition to his book “The Power of Pragmatic Passion: 7 Common Sense Principles for Achieving Personal and Professional Success.”, he continues to write columns for StateCollege.com.  


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