Bertagna out as Hockey East commish after 2019-20 season

File PhotoGloucester resident Joe Bertagna is stepping down as Hockey East Commissioner following the 2019-2020 season.

Joe Bertagna's run as Hockey East Commissioner is coming to an end. The Gloucester resident, who is the longest tenured commissioner in the history of college hockey, announced on Monday in a joint announcement with the Hockey East Athletic Directors that he will be stepping down from his post following the 2019-2020 season.

Hockey East's first and only commissioner has served in that role since July 1997. His last season will be his 23rd.

Bertagna will remain the Executive Director of the American Hockey Coaches Association, a position he has held since 1991, when the AHCA was first created. Bertagna recently agreed to an extension to serve that role through the 2022-23 season.

"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," Bertagna said. "Adding my time with the ECAC to the Hockey East years, I will have contributed 38 seasons to college hockey and am very proud of what has been accomplished on my watch."

University of Vermont Athletic Director Jeff Schulman, the Chair of Hockey East's Men's Executive Committee Chair Jeff Schulman was quick to credit Bertagna for helping Hockey East grow.

"Joe has been a tremendous leader of Hockey since since taking over as our first ever full-time commisioner," he said. "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 1 college hockey."

In 22 seasons, Hockey East has won a NCAA championship seven times on the men's side, the most recent coming in 2015 when Providence College took home the crown. Boston College has won four championships in that time span (2001, 08, 10, 12) while Boston University (2009) and Maine (1999) also won a championship.

The Arlington native, who has been living in Gloucester for several decades, has been a local fixture in the sport for a long time. He was a former goalie at Harvard University and has run a summer goalie camp in the area for nearly five decades.

Bertagna was the Boston Bruins goalie coach from 1985-91 and was the goalie coach for the 1994 US Men's Olympic team. He is also a member of the ECAC and Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame, elected in 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

"This is not a retirement," Bertagna said. "They say when one door closes, another opens. I look forward to starting my final year with the conference and seeing what doors open for me in the future."

Information from a press release was used in this report.