Valentine Steps Into College Athletics For First Time As New Sacred Heart AD
New Sacred Heart Univ. AD Bobby Valentine was officially introduced yesterday, and with the press conference "packed with local and national media, just about every Sacred Heart coach and members of all of its 31 Division I teams," it was a "glimpse at how life on the Fairfield campus has changed already," according to Mike Anthony of the HARTFORD COURANT. Valentine currently is "without any experience in collegiate administration," but will continue to "figure out his role" as AD "even after he begins the job July 1." Sacred Heart Senior VP/Student Affairs & Athletics Jim Barquinero said, "We've got to fundraise, so that's going to be a big piece of it. By the way, he's going to be the face of the university, as you can tell. It's going to be a little bit more than athletics." Barquinero "spoke of Valentine's recruiting corporate sponsors, even recruiting players." Barquinero added the university will hire a deputy AD, "a clear No. 2 who will be the fellow or the woman to run the day-to-day with us, take care of those nuts and bolts." Barquinero said that "no other candidates were interviewed" (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/27). Valentine insisted that he is "capable of the job and that it isn't a public relations stunt." In Connecticut, Chip Malafronte reports Valentine "won’t handle many of the traditional duties that come with the job description." Sacred Heart admins at the same time acknowledge that there is "innate value in name recognition and fame." Valentine, when asked if his venture into college athletics means his major league managing career is over, was "non committal." He said, "If some team calls, I always answer the phone. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to rush to judgment and run away from a situation that I think is a very good situation" (New Haven REGISTER, 2/27).
VALENTINE'S DAY: On Long Island, Anthony Rieber writes Valentine was "pure 'Bobby V' during his news conference / pep rally in the campus student center." He was "well-spoken, funny, charming, irascible and boastful." He answered a question about how long he expected to work at the school with "a joke about once having a lifetime contract in Japan that was the lifetime of the owner's dog" (NEWSDAY, 2/27). In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs writes, "Let's face it, Valentine might be the smartest man in the room, but he has so, so much to learn about the NCAA and operating a 31-varsity team program." Jacobs: "This much is sure. Sacred Heart got a lot of bang out of Valentine on this day" (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/27). In Boston, Ron Borges writes Valentine yesterday was a "favorite son coming home to the college down the street to help a school ... grow its brand." The thought is he "knows everyone in Connecticut, a fact he made clear when he gave a shout out to a local clothier he spied in the crowd." He could have "slowed down, but that is not his strong suit." His strong suit is "accepting roles like this, ones that bring new challenges and the discomfort that goes with them" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/27).
BOBBY'S WORLD: Valentine said that he has a "gig as a sports analyst for NBC radio and that he’ll have a show throughout the baseball season." In N.Y., Anthony McCarron reports Valentine "hopes to bring the show to campus and have students work on it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/27). In Connecticut, Dave Ruden writes, "Make no mistake, Valentine is not going to be cutting back." He said that he will "remain active with his baseball academy, his restaurant." He just "started The Bobby Valentine channel on YouTube," and is "on the board of several companies" (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 2/27).