Fairfield, Conn.—All was beautiful for Bobby Valentine again. There he was, on a February morning in Connecticut, sitting before a pretty red background, introduced as the next executive director of intercollegiate athletics at Sacred Heart University. He was the out-of-the-box choice. But an intriguing choice. He was why this big room was packed. Here was Bobby Valentine. Bobby V! Sixty-two years old and looking terrific. He wore an impeccable gray suit and a blue tie and his teeth were bright and flawless. His teeth could host an awards show.
He spoke. He took questions. His answers swerved from humble and gracious to worldly and pointed. This, of course, is part of the Bobby V experience. Bobby Valentine answers questions in a way that shows why canned answers were invented. He pauses and sidetracks in a way that makes you hold your breath, but sometimes, he really sticks the landing. When Valentine talked about his new job, he offered a quote straight out of a glossy, parent-pleasing brochure.
"I hope that I can be a brother to some, a father to others, a mentor to those in need, and a friend to everyone here on campus," he said.
Swoon. You could hear the administration's knees buckle. Valentine couldn't have said it better. This was really going to be great. Sacred Heart student-athletes jammed the back of the room, wearing their Pioneer red sweatsuits, hoping to catch a glimpse of the new boss. This was not just an AD. This was celebrity. A brand name. The camera phones went up. Click.