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baseball players after photographs of an alleged hazing incident surfaced online. The news spread through local media. Gooley immediately offered to resign, but McDonald would have none of it. “He walks into my office and he says, ‘Jack, I’m going to quit. I let the university down when this happened,’” McDonald recalled. “I said, ‘Dan, you cannot quit. I need you and your student athletes need you at this very important time. So get out of my office, and let’s help these guys understand that they made a mistake, that they’re going to be disciplined, and that we want them back when the discipline’s over.’ And he did. He sort of captained the ship during a real bad storm and he handled it remarkably.” Since 2007, Quinnipiac baseball has struggled. During the past three seasons, the team lost more than twice as many games as it won in the NEC. Ask Gooley, and he’s quick to say it’s his own fault – but there were other factors at play. His student-athletes play on a field and sit in a dugout about as old as their parents. Recruiting players to compete on a field that is not as good as many high school diamonds has become a real drawback. Plans for a new field have continually come and gone, and the university’s athletic department put everything on hold while a Title IX lawsuit worked its way through federal court. Though Quinnipiac settled the lawsuit in 2013 and has introduced plans for new athletic fields, a baseball field may not be included. When Gooley was director of athletic development, he helped raise money for the new athletic facilities at York Hill, yet none of those funds went to the baseball team either. But that’s not all. Gooley has never had a fulltime assistant coach to actively recruit for him. And on top of that, the amount of scholarships available to both attract and secure talent also falls short of the total players he needs to recruit. Asked whether the university had plans to grow the baseball program, McDonald responded: “As with all our teams we hope to April 23, 2014


Gooley told his father the Yankees would never change. “Hold on a second,” Raymond said. He opened up to a page with images of the 1956 World Series, won by the Yankees. The team’s jackets featured the word “Yankees” in script across the front. “You know, this would be something very special.” Special, indeed. The Yankees had last won a World Series in 1978. Perhaps creating a throwback jacket to a winning team could bring some good luck. It will help them win in 1996, Raymond said. Raymond’s off-the-cuff comment struck a chord with his son. This was a venture Gooley was determined to take on. Nobody thought the Yankees would be willing to change. Nobody. But Gooley wasn’t without support. All he really had to do was convince the man Dan Gooley who had the highest standard of excellence: George Steinbrenner, owner of the Yankees. The Yankees went on to win the World Series Gooley worked with the marketing and art and sell 26,000 jackets during the Christmas departments at Starter to develop the design, season, Gooley said, and Steinbrenner bought and it had to be perfect. He went himself to the 300 of his own at retail to give to the Yankees Yankees front office with prototypes, but the Tampa Foundation, Inc. color wasn’t right. It was navy when it should “It was fabulous. It was absolutely fabulous,” have been midnight black. Gooley said. “And I mean all of the players had It was Old-Timers’ Day and the Yankees’ [the jackets] on and wore them on television, the former greats, like Reggie Jackson and Whitey World Series, the whole thing. It was great. But it Ford, noticed the prototype hanging up in the was all, see the idea was my father’s,” he said. “... corner of Steinbrenner’s office. They asked him He was very sick at the time, so I had said, ‘I’m about it and suggested that if it had been good gonna do this for him.’” enough for them to wear, it was good enough for Raymond died six years later. Steinbrenner’s current team. Gooley returned to Quinnipiac in 1998 first Meanwhile, Gooley and the team at Starter as director of athletic development. During were back at work on the this time, he navigated the final prototype – with a full school’s transition from a Yankees script, perfectly “I always say that NCAA Division II program positioned buttons, striped to NCAA Division I. collar and arm emblem it’s simple: the Quinnipiac College became – and it was delivered to players got all Quinnipiac University. Steinbrenner on Labor Day When he became baseball the wins and the weekend in Boston. head coach again in 2001, Gooley got the call coaches got all the the school adopted a fresh that Monday morning. nickname: the Bobcats. Steinbrenner had given his losses.” Gooley blended his approval. decidedly old-school - DAN GOOLEY Joe Torre unveiled the approach with players into jacket at the start of the 1996 the more modern baseball playoffs. The Yankees’ equipment manager and game, and it worked spectacularly well – for a Gooley’s constant supporter, Nick Priori, invited time. Gooley to Yankee Stadium for a press conference In 2005, the Bobcats won the Northeast in the dugout the day before the playoffs. Gooley Conference Tournament, 7-2, to qualify for walked into the clubhouse with his all-access their first-ever NCAA Division I Regional pass and saw his jacket hanging in the lockers of Tournament. each player and coach. Two years later, they shared the Northeast Gooley took his place in the corner of the Conference’s regular-season title and were dugout, which was mobbed by the media, all voted the top Division I team in New England waiting for Torre. by the New England Intercollegiate Coaches It was time. Torre walked down the runway Association. and took a seat on top of the dugout, proudly In between those two peak years, however, sporting a brand-new jacket. Cameras flashed. Gooley was faced with a situation that every “This is our new look for the ‘96 playoffs and college coach dreads: players behaving badly off World Series,” said Torre, who then looked at the field. Gooley and gave a wink. In 2006, the university suspended several

QBSN: The Magazine, Issue 4  
QBSN: The Magazine, Issue 4  

The Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network's quarterly publicaation