Longtime Penn State coach and administrator Joe Battista has been named the recipient of the American Hockey Coaches Association’s Lou Lamoriello Award for 2014.
The award — named in honor of the former Providence player, coach and athletic director (and current New Jersey Devils president and general manager) — will be presented during this year’s Frozen Four in Philadelphia.
The award recognizes a former college hockey player or coach for their unique and distinguished professional career.
Battista is the first Lamoriello Award recipient who played his college hockey at the non-varsity
level, as Penn State played in the ACHA before moving its men’s and women’s programs to the NCAA Division I level in 2012.
“Joe Battista represents so much of the best of college hockey,” said AHCA executive director Joe Bertagna in a statement. “He has been a success at everything he has done since his playing days ended and he has shown incredible loyalty and devotion to his alma mater and to people who have helped him along the way. These are characteristics on display throughout our sport and never more so than in Joe.”
“I am honored and humbled to receive the Lamoriello Award,” added Battista. “Coach Lamoriello has always been willing to help others in the game, including our Penn State staff. I was excited to see him at our recent Devils-Sabres game and be able to share the news of the award with him. This award is possible only because of the great teammates, players, staff, mentors and colleagues that I have worked with over the past 35 years and the support of my wife, Heidi, and our kids.”
A 1983 Penn State graduate, Battista returned to campus in 1987, beginning a 19-year career as head coach of the Nittany Lions’ club team where he captured six ACHA national titles and won more
than 500 games.
In September 2010, Battista assumed the role as an associate athletic director for Penn State after helping facilitate the largest gift in school history – an initial $88 million donation that was instrumental in funding Pegula Ice Arena and NCAA Division I hockey – from Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim.
This past fall, Battista took a position with Pegula’s East Management Services as vice president of hockey operations where he is responsible for hockey development and strategic initiatives across the entire spectrum of Pegula’s hockey organizations.