Sacred Heart University Executive Director of Athletics Bobby Valentine has been named the ECAC Division I Administrator of the Year. He will be recognized at the organization's annual event this evening in Danbury, Conn.
"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the student-athletes, coaches and staff of Sacred Heart athletics," said Valentine. "The dedication and commitment of all of our Pioneers is heart warming. It is a pleasure to be associated with these fine men and women and I thank the ECAC for recognizing the accomplishments of SHU Athletics."
SHU had a banner year in 2015-16, winning the Northeast Conference Triple Crown. The Pioneers captured a record sixth Brenda Weare Commissioner's Cup and became the first school in league history to pair that honor with the NEC Institutional Academic Award. SHU student-athletes combined for a 3.31 GPA during the 2016-17 season to win the award for top GPA in the league for the second consecutive year. Seventy-five percent of the athletic department surpassed a 3.0 GPA during the season, with 31 teams posting a team GPA of over 3.0.
The Pioneers earned the NEC Building Communities Award for the fifth time in the award's six-year existence. SHU student-athletes combined for 8,391.5 hours of community service during the year. The Pioneers also repeated as the Joan Martin Women's Commissioners Cup winners.
The women's cross country team won its league crown for the third consecutive time and for the second straight year the Pioneers won the NEC Triple Crown by winning cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field championships. Bowling won the regular season and tournament title, equestrian won the Western Regional, and women's basketball won the regular season title and played in the WNIT.
Now in his fourth year at SHU, the Pioneers have captured 18 conference crowns, 177 All-Conference honors, 15 Player of the Year awards, 13 Coach of the Year honors, 12 All-America selections and eight NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as a CoSida Academic All-America honoree.
The Pioneers debuted a new Daktronics video and scoreboard on Campus Field last week, a year after completing a project to completely replacing the playing surface and surrounding track. A new state-of-the-art Academic Services and Student Development Center opened last fall and is located on the second floor of the Pitt Center. The Pioneers are currently building a new soccer and rugby facility and have refurbished the strength and conditioning center along with hiring the department's first-ever strength and conditioning coach.