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(NECN: Brian Burnell, Fairfield, Conn.) - His move from the manager's office at Fenway Park to the athletic director's office at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut has many scratching their heads.
On Tuesday, Bobby Valentine was introduced as leader of the pioneers in a move that even the school president called "unconventional."
Bobby Valentine is no stranger to controversy and not afraid of the limelight. That could be why his latest career move from manager of the Boston Red Sox to Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
Even the school president admits...
"We're doing something unconventional and I think excitingly so with the appointment of Bobby," says Dr. John Petillo, Sacred Heart’s president.
Sacred Heart is a Catholic school not far from Valentine's hometown of Stamford. It has more than 6,000 students, 700 of which are athletes on the 31 varsity teams. But it’s hardly high profile. Opinions among the student-athletes are split between "good choice" to “not sure.”
"I think he's going to a lot of positive attention to the school. I think he's got what it takes to get the job done and he's not afraid of the spotlight," says senior wrestler Sam Shepphard.
"He has a lot of knowledge about management so hopefully he can help run things here. I don't really know," says senior softball player Melissa Tobin.
The first question Valentine was asked reflects the skepticism with which this appointment was met.
Some people say this is kind of a joke and stuff like that and what can you say about people not taking you seriously as an athletic director here?
Valentine said he takes everything he does seriously and then added...
"I really didn't think I'd be insulted with the first question but what the hell? I guess that's the way it goes."
After the news conference, Valentine was asked about his season in Boston, how it ended badly and whether that makes him want to manage in the major leagues again to prove he's better than that.
"It's six months of a 62-year life. Six months of a 42-year career in baseball. It’s a blip, a little spot on the radar as far as I'm concerned,” Valentine said. “And I thought I did a hell of a job in Boston. I thought what had to be done there was done except for winning a pennant and, you know, Connie Mack wasn't going to win with that team."
He also said he'd take the call if a major league team called but that doesn't mean he'd take the job.