Former Hockey Coach Joe Battista Delivers “Pragmatic Passion” Speech

Story posted October 10, 2019 in CommRadio, News by Sean Barron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Six-time ACHA national champion and former Penn State hockey coach Joe Battista gave a motivational speech focusing on “pragmatic passion” on Monday.

This event was open to all Penn State students, who were able to listen to Battista share his advice on how to attack life with a passion and follow your dreams.

“You have to take charge—you go and do it, no one is going to come save you,” Battista said. “So, the question I have is ‘how?’ How do you do this? It’s with pragmatic passion. Dreaming big, keeping it real, getting it done.”

Battista shared stories from his time coaching Penn State as well as the path he took to become the head coach. Battista wrote a letter to head football coach and, at the time, athletic director Joe Paterno. Battista asked for tips on how to get involved in coaching.

Battista used his method of pragmatic passion, as well as his own determination, not only to become Penn State’s hockey coach but also to bring Division I hockey to Happy Valley. Battista was a major factor in gathering funding and support from Terry Pegula in order to build Penn State men’s and women’s hockey into a Division I program.

Jake Greenbaum, a student at Penn State, was inspired by Battista’s speech. Greenbaum said he learned many valuable lessons, including one in particular.

“Do what you’re passionate about, but follow your brain,” Greenbaum said.

Battista’s goal was to teach his audience to pursue their passions while also attacking life with a purpose.

You can purchase Joe Battista’s book “The Power of Pragmatic Passion” on Amazon for $25.

Sean Barron is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email