Sacred Heart makes it official, hires Valentine as new director of athletics

Former Major League Baseball player and manager Bobby Valentine has been named executive director of intercollegiate athletics at Sacred Heart.

Valentine, who managed the Boston Red Sox in 2012, will take over in his new position July 1, replacing C. Donald Cook, who is retiring June 30.

The Connecticut Post first reported the transaction on Feb. 22.

“We recognize that Bobby is an out-of-the-box selection, but we believe his entrepreneurial spirit, extensive sports background and love of athletics make him an ideal choice,” said SHU president John Petillo in a statement. “He is a native son with strong name recognition and his selection demonstrates Sacred Heart’s commitment to its athletic program and to innovation and excellence throughout the university.”

“I am looking forward to this new opportunity at Sacred Heart University,” added Valentine. “I have served in a variety of roles throughout my sports career – experience that will serve me well as I take on this new challenge. It is exciting to find an opportunity so close to home where I can use my skills and experience to make a difference.”

Valentine spent 10 years in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners. He also coached and managed with the Mets, managed the Texas Rangers and also managed in Japan. Valentine has also worked for ESPN and NBC Sports and is the owner of Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café in Stamford, Conn.