Battista leaving Penn State for position with Pegula organization

Joe Battista, the longtime Penn State employee and associate athletic director for Pegula Ice Arena and hockey development, announced Tuesday that he will leave the school, effective Nov. 8, and will take a new role with Pegula’s East Management Services as its vice president of hockey related businesses.

“Joe Battista has been an integral part of the Penn State community for more than 30 years as a student and employee and I thank him for his loyal service to the university and intercollegiate athletics,” said Penn State director of athletics Dave Joyner in a statement. “Joe’s vision, passion and tireless efforts toward bringing NCAA Division I hockey to Penn State were unmatched and it’s fitting that he was able to see both the men’s and women’s hockey programs play at Pegula Ice Arena.”

“It is with mixed emotions that after more than 26 years my career at Penn State is coming to a close,” Battista said in a statement. “It has been the greatest honor to represent my alma mater as a Lion ambassador, student-athlete, hockey coach, athletic facilities manager, fundraiser and athletics administrator.

“It is now time for me to set new goals and dream new dreams [and] I am grateful to the Pegula’s for having faith in me and for giving me this wonderful opportunity.”

A 1983 graduate of Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, Battista served the university in a variety of capacities during his 27-year tenure. He returned to Penn State in 1987, beginning a 19-year journey as head coach of the school’s ACHA Division I club team. With the Icers, Battista captured six national titles and won more than 500 games.

After the 2005-06 season, the Pittsburgh native left the bench to become the Nittany Lion Club’s executive director (2006-09) and then joined the Smeal College of Business as its director of major gifts from 2009-10.

In September 2010, Battista took the role as an associate athletic director after helping facilitate the largest gift in university history – the $88 million donation that helped fund Pegula Ice Arena and NCAA Division I hockey – from Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim.