According to a school source who wished to remain anonymous, former Red Sox and Mets skipper Bobby Valentine is among the candidates for the job. Valentine, a Stamford native, visited the campus in Fairfield about two weeks ago, according to the source.
Jim Barquinero, the university's senior vice president for athletics and student affairs, is spearheading the search for Cook's replacement. He did not return repeated phone messages for comment.
Valentine, who was fired after one season with the Red Sox, is among several candidates for the job, according to the source.
Internally, under consideration is Joe Del Rossi, SHU's senior associate athletic director for development and the director of the Pioneer Club, which is the main fund-raiser for the school's 31 athletic programs.
Del Rossi, who previously worked at Seton Hall University in athletic fund-raising, has become a popular fixture at SHU athletic events since he arrived in 2011.
Another local administrator with strong community ties is Fairfield University's Pat Murphy, who is the school's senior associate athletics director/external affairs. Murphy has helped the Webster Bank Arena secure multiple NCAA Tournament events in women's basketball and men's hockey during his tenure along with handle marketing, tickets and promotions at Fairfield.
Also under consideration, according to the source, are Larry Keating, who is special assistant to the athletic director at the University of Kansas and spent 12 years as the AD at Seton Hall University. The other name the source linked to the SHU job is Joseph Quinlan, who is the current AD at Saint Peter's and spent five years in the same position at Seton Hall along with several years at Rutgers as an associate AD.
Keating, Quinlan and Del Rossi all have ties to Seton Hall, where current Sacred Heart president John Petillo previously served as the chancellor and chief executive officer.
Barquinero said last month at a SHU men's basketball game that the searching for AD was just getting under way and that he did not have a timetable for hiring a replacement for Cook, who announced his retirement, effective July 1, at the end of November.
Barquinero added the school planned to have a nationwide search and someone not currently connected to collegiate athletics could be a candidate.
Cook is in his 20th year at SHU and has been a mainstay in state college athletics for the past 50 years, starting as a coach at Fairfield. He has also been the AD at Fairfield and the University of Hartford.
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