Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was announced Tuesday as the athletic director of Sacred Heart University, where he will focus on larger issues like fundraising, and being the voice and face of the collegiate program.
At the press conference introducing him, he said he thought he did a "helluva job in Boston."
"I thought what had to be done there was done except for winning a pennant," Valentine told reporters. "But Connie Mack wasn't going to win with that team."
The Red Sox went 69-93 in Valentine's only season, the worst single-season mark since 1965. The team finished in last for the first time since 1992.
Valentine, 62, will face new challenges at Sacred Heart. He has no college administrative experience. The school has more than 700 student-athletes in 31 Division I varsity sports, including 17 women's and 14 men's programs.
The idea that he was hired as a joke was broached at his introduction.
"If it's a joke, it's an inside joke," Valentine said. "I'm very serious about everything I do in my life. I deal with passion and commitment and I deal with excellence. I really didn't think I'd be insulted with the first question, but what the hell. ... I feel like I'm in the middle of my life. I'm a guy who loves challenges. ... I opened a restaurant in 1980 and I never flipped a hamburger before. I do things that are presented to me so that I can be challenged and I can strive for excellence."