Joe Bertagna’s 23rd season as commissioner of Hockey East will be his last.
The league announced on Monday that Bertagna, who served longer than any commissioner in NCAA hockey history, will call the 2019-20 season his final one.
Before his stint at Hockey East, Bertagna served as the ECAC’s commissioner for 15 years.
“Joe has been a tremendous leader of Hockey East since taking over as our first-ever full-time commissioner 22 years ago,” said Jeff Schulman, director of athletics for the University of Vermont and chairman of Hockey East’s Men’s Executive Committee. “He has been the driving force in helping to grow our men’s and women’s leagues both in terms of membership, competitive quality, and our position in the landscape of Division I college hockey.”
“I have had a good run with Hockey East and am grateful for the opportunities the schools have provided me for more than two decades,” said Bertagna on Hockey East’s website. “Adding my time with the ECAC to the Hockey East years, I will have contributed to 38 seasons of college hockey and am very proud of what has been accomplished on my watch.”
Bertagna is a native of Arlington, Mass., and a former Harvard goalie. He emphasized that the announcement was “not a retirement.”
“They say when one door closes, another door opens,” he said. “I look forward to starting my final year with the conference and seeing what doors open up for me in the future.”
Bertagna has also served, and will continue to serve, as executive director of the American Hockey Coaches Association since 1991.
“I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Joe for many years,” said Hilary Witt, head coach of the University of New Hampshire’s women’s team. “He has been a supporter and advocate of women’s hockey for decades. His impact on the game at every level is unmatched. I am incredibly grateful for the time, effort and passion Joe has put in to Hockey East and this amazing sport.”