Sacred Heart University officially announced Tuesday that former Major League Baseball player and manager and Stamford native Bobby Valentine has been named executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Valentine will replace outgoing director C. Donald Cook, who plans to retire at the end of June. Cook has been the university's athletic director for 20 years.
"We had a good run, Coach," Jim Barquinero, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics, said to Cook, who sat in the front row as his successor was introduced.
As for the university's new hire, Barquinero believes Valentine's acceptance of the position is a "significant and wonderful moment for Sacred Heart University and its athletic department."
"We've accomplished a lot as a young Division I institution and with Bobby's presence and his arrival, we will be primed to take that to another level, both regionally and nationally," Barquinero added.
Valentine will bring "his vision, his opportunity, the opportunities that he saw were before him," University President John Petillo said, adding that the students would make the new athletic director's role exciting.
The former baseball player and manager for the Texas Rangers, the New York Mets, the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, and most recently the Boston Red Sox said what he can bring to the program is something that can't be taught: experience.
"I've got a lot of experience. I've lived in five different countries...I've been fired, I've been up," Valentine said. "I can share my experience and make the situation here better."
With that experience, Valentine hopes that the "things I've touched in the past, associations, people I know can help facilitate what I do here."
There is one aspect of Valentine's career that will not make it to Sacred Heart. There are no plans to open a Bobby V's Sports Gallery Cafe on campus, he said in response to a query from the press.
He will keep the Stamford location up and running, as well as his position as a baseball analyst with NBC Sports Radio.
And what if another MLB comes a-calling, as one reporter asked?
"I don't deal with the future, I deal with today," Valentine said.
"If a team calls, I'll answer," he added, but that doesn't mean he would leave Sacred Heart.
"This is a term that will last until [the athletic department] and I are no longer mutually beneficial with each other."
For more quotes from the press conference, see the attached videos.
Editor's note: This article originally was published by Fairfield Patch.