Bobby Valentine Introduced as Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Baseball legend Bobby Valentine was officially introduced today as Sacred Heart University’s incoming executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics. After thanking outgoing director Don Cook for his 20 years of service, Jim Barquinero, SHU’s senior vice president, Athletics & Student Affairs, called Valentine a leader who will take SHU athletics to the next level.
University President John J. Petillo described the hire as a pioneering move. “As always, our primary focus will be service to our students. We will continue to run a clean program and ensure that our students graduate. Everything else will fall into place,” he said.
Valentine opened his remarks by thanking the students for coming. “I’m excited and proud to be with you as you move forward,” he said.
He also acknowledged Cook, saying he looks forward to his mentorship. “I am here to facilitate and to provide an environment where the students can succeed and be happy,” Valentine said.
“The family atmosphere that I’ve experienced on campus so far is something that I am looking forward to. I hope I can be a brother to some, a father to others and a friend to everyone on campus.”
Valentine touched on a number of topics while taking questions from the press. Regarding his experience leading a college athletics program, he said, “I learned ballroom dancing when I had never danced; I opened restaurants when I had never flipped a burger. I’m a guy who loves a challenge. I do things that are challenging so that I can strive for excellence every day.”
A similar question brought this response from Valentine: “One thing you can’t teach is experience. I have a boatload of life experience. I’ve been fired; I’ve been up; I’ve been broke; I’ve been rich. I’m learning what needs to be done here, and I am very anxious to learn the responsibilities of the people on my team and what their needs are.”
About a contract with Sacred Heart and his future in baseball, Valentine said, “I had a lifetime contract in Japan and found out it was the lifetime of the owner’s dog. I don’t deal in the future. This is a term that will last as long as it is mutually beneficial. If some team calls, I always answer the phone. That doesn’t mean I will rush to judgment.”
When asked if he will use his name recognition to fundraise, Valentine said, “I hope that I can help with whatever needs to be done here, whether that’s fundraising or winning a baseball game.”
Valentine said he plans to continue in his role as senior baseball analyst for NBC sports radio and hopes eventually to broadcast from campus and involve SHU students in the process.