HEA Extends Bertagna's Contract
CHN Staff Report
WAKEFIELD, Mass. Hockey East has extended the contract of Commissioner Joe Bertagna through the 2010-2011 season. Bertagna, 56, came to Hockey East in 1997 after 15 years with the ECAC. He is the longest serving commissioner in Hockey East's 24-year history.
"Hockey East continues to be regarded as one of the finest hockey conferences in the country, and Joe deserves considerable credit for that," said Dana Skinner, Chair of the Hockey East Executive Committee. "His passion for the sport of hockey combined with his extensive insight of collegiate athletics will prove valuable as the league establishes new standards of excellence in the coming years."
A native of Arlington, Mass., Bertagna has forged a unique career in ice hockey, combining a quarter century of college hockey administrative work with 35 years of coaching goaltenders of all ages, from youth hockey through the National Hockey League. He started his administrative work with the ECAC in 1982, carrying a number of titles and overseeing 90 men's and women's programs in Divisions I and III.
His accomplishments at the ECAC included the league's first television package, the first hockey-only corporate sponsorships, and the establishment of the first U.S. women's intercollegiate ice hockey leagues.
Bertagna came to Hockey East and immediately engineered a multi-year television deal. Shortly thereafter, league tournament attendance went up quickly, leading to the event's first-ever sellout in 2000. Bertagna was also instrumental in bringing about the formation of the Hockey East Women's League, just as he initiated league play for both Division I and Division III women's programs while with the ECAC.
Nationally, Bertagna has served as the Executive Director of the American Hockey Coaches Association since 1991. In that role, he has overseen the growth of AHCA membership from just under 300 members in 1992 to over 1,300 members today. He also served a four-year term on the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee, the final two years as chairman. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation and USA Hockey.
The 1973 Harvard graduate has enjoyed a fruitful playing and coaching career. After starring in goal at Arlington High School, Bertagna went on to Harvard University and played for Hall of Fame coaches Ralph "Cooney" Weiland and Bill Cleary. A two-year starter (1971-72 and 1972-73), he led the
Ivy League with a 2.45 GAA in 1972. After Harvard, Bertagna played professionally for the Milwaukee Admirals and in Cortina, Italy. While in Italy, he led his S.G. Cortina d'Ampezzo squad to the 1975 Italian Championship.
Bertagna other credits include published books and numerous articles, broadcasting, producing highlight videos. Bertagna enjoyed a brief college coaching career at Harvard in the ate 1970s, serving as Men's Junior Varsity Coach in 1976-77 and launching Harvard's women's ice hockey program in 1977-78. He served as head coach of Harvard Women's Hockey for two seasons.