Monday, July 03, 2006

Penn State Icers Finds New Coach

The new era in Penn State hockey has indeed changed over to the 21st century with the naming of the next head coach of the club.
A committee made up of administrators, important personnel and current players decided that longtime assistant coach Scott Balboni would be the best coach to achieve that.
I just wonder who those "important personnel" would be. Alumnus and former players? They certainly didn't ask me. Though, I probably would have gone along with the assistant coach as the choice for successor.

Balboni is replacing a legend who built the team into the perennial ACHA juggernaut that is in today. Joe Batista was a great coach who won over 500+ games during his tenure. His influence on the program will sorely be missed. I too will miss him. When I used to produce the local sports radio, I would often talk to him as a frequent guest of the program. "JoeBa", an affectionate nickname to imitate the famous University football coach, worked tirelessly to finance a hockey club and continually sold advertising in the arena to make the program run.

JoeBa had given his endorsement to his successor believing that his own business connections and knowledge of the State College, PA community. Since being an assistant coach from 97 to 02, he then offered his time again to the program as an assistant coach as a volunteer. Coach Balboni describes his style of coaching in this manner:
"I'm a very aggressive coach, and I'm a very strict coach. And whatever systems we decide to play, you'll see those are very aggressive systems," Balboni said. "I don't tend to be very passive and sit back and wait for other teams.
I hope that the Penn State program continues to thrive and is able to get up to speed to finally become an NCAA Div-1 program. We are loosing too many players in this state to rival Big 10 schools like Michigan and Ohio State.

[Via: Penn State Daily Collegian]
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