Quinnipiac makes pitch to Riveras

Son of Yankee great tours campus

By on December 8, 2010

Though “Enter Sandman” wasn’t playing, there was still plenty of applause and commotion.

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera made an entrance at Quinnipiac University Wednesday afternoon with his son, Mariano Jr., to visit the Mount Carmel campus. Rivera Jr., a senior pitcher at Iona Prep in New York, is considering attending Quinnipiac next fall and playing baseball for the Bobcats.

“Today was another extension of the search for the right school,” Quinnipiac baseball head coach Dan Gooley said of the visit.

Rivera Jr. and his mom visited the campus about a month ago with the guidance counselor from Iona Prep in search of the right school.

“One of the things I said to Mrs. Rivera and to Mariano Jr. was, ‘Once you start figuring out what schools you’re serious about, your dad should come back and visit with you as well,’” Gooley said.

The Riveras called Tuesday, saying that his dad, the five-time World Series champion for the New York Yankees, wanted to see the school.

“He’s still in the process of searching,” Gooley said. “I think he’s looking at Fairfield University, Pace University, Fordham University, and Iona  [College]. He goes to Iona Prep so I think Iona might be a little too close for him, but those are at least the four schools I know he’s interested in.”

Gooley does not expect a decision until early to mid-February.

Rivera Jr. is 5-foot-10 and weighs about 155 lbs, according to Gooley. He pitched for the Bayside Yankees, a New York City AAU baseball program, in the summer, Gooley said.

“He contacted us and said he was interested,” Gooley said, “so then, of course, we did some follow-up information on him and tried to get some more background information on him. He decided he wanted to come up for a search. Every young guy who visits, we try and meet with them and talk to them.”

Gooley said that Rivera Jr. isn’t the hardest throwing pitcher, but believes he is accurate.

“He throws a lot of strikes,” he said. “He’s the kind of kid you get on a real good strength and conditioning program and work with him mechanically. He could be a good, solid player at this level.”

The attention his father received was overwhelming, as dozens of Quinnipiac students followed him and his son around campus, but Gooley believes the number of people who clamored at the Yankees’ closer is not something Rivera Jr. is ashamed of.

“When we were with the president (John Lahey) he was talking about how proud he is of his father and what he has accomplished,” Gooley said. “People came out to see his dad and that made him very proud, I think.”

Rivera Jr. is looking to get into get into the legal studies program and is interested in joining Quinnipiac’s law school.

“If he can fit in and be a baseball player, he’s gonna do that,” Gooley said. “I think he really enjoyed it today.”

Before the Rivera name is attached to Quinnipiac baseball, there is still a long process to go.

“It’s a unique piece to have if everything works out on your club,” Gooley said, “but you still gotta make it, you still gotta go to class, still gotta make your practice sessions, still gotta perform on the field. No matter what name is attached to you, you still gotta do it. I think the kid has his own identity, I really do.”

Aside from Rivera Jr., Quinnipiac has already recruited four players in the national letter of intent for next year, including first baseman Vin Guglietti, outfielder Alec Pernick, pitcher Matt Lorenzetti, and middle infielder Scott Donahue.

“I think we have a great recruiting year,” Gooley said. “So far.”

Photo credit: Matt Eisenberg


About Matt Eisenberg

Senior Managing Editor
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @matteisenberg42
Year: 2014
Major: Print journalism


  1. Reelpunny

    December 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Well, that’s a RELIEF! Hope they can CLOSE the deal!

  2. Mystery

    December 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Rivera is a greedy bastard…. I heard the Yanks have his son locked up for 3 years 85 mil….

    I heard his SAT score is as bad as what opponents hit against him in the 2000 season.

    • Lou

      December 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      You are extremely rude and I hope you reevaluate the principles upon which you stand.

  3. Monty Schwartz

    December 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

    nice story and “Great Picture”.

  4. jon mcmanus

    December 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Doesnt the NCAA bar Coaches commenting on potential recruits prior to signing a NLI.

  5. robin miller

    December 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    great story! great quotes! writer had great perspective of situation.

  6. Riecke

    December 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Great photo! Bravo to the photographer!

  7. Christine

    December 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

    F.Y.I. it’s Iona College not University.

  8. aabcl447382902

    December 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Yes, I agree Coach Gooley commited an NCAA by commenting on a recruit

  9. Matt Eisenberg

    December 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Christine: My mistake about the Iona College/University confusion

    Jon: I don’t believe Rivera Jr. was eligible for a NLI – to my knowledge he applied to schools and got into them; now, to my knowledge, he’s trying to walk-on. He visited with Gooley to, most likely, gain more insight into the program here.

  10. AC

    December 12, 2010 at 10:33 am

    It is obvious that Jr. was clearly accepted on his own merits academically and athletically. LOL

  11. Jon

    December 12, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    His test scores are lower than his father’s postseason ERA.

  12. Marisol Perry

    December 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    F.Y.I. it’s Iona College not University.

  13. Latoya Bridges

    December 22, 2010 at 4:16 am

    F.Y.I. it’s Iona College not University.

  14. Jana Johns

    December 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Yes, I agree Coach Gooley commited an NCAA by commenting on a recruit

  15. Joanna Wall

    December 24, 2010 at 3:20 am

    His test scores are lower than his father’s postseason ERA.

  16. Dougie

    January 6, 2011 at 12:43 am

    honestly, if he were any good or smart, he wouldn’t be looking at QU

  17. Johnny

    January 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    He was obviously only accepted on his father’s celebrity. Maybe they know the cutter runs in the family. Having him on the roster will place QU among the top baseball programs in the county (SC, UCLA, QU, etc) LOL

    In all honestly, I really hope someone is looking out for this kid in the long run.

  18. Johnny

    January 19, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Maybe QU knows that the cutter runs in the family. Maybe QU feels that Jr. will place them among the top baseball programs in the country. Obviously, they accepted him based on his father’s celebrity.

    How do you accept something you didn’t earn yourself?

    Honestly, I hope someone is looking out for this kid in the long run.

  19. QU10

    February 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Gooley should be fired. Worst coach in country. Program needs some energy with a new coach, not some over the hill crony past his prime.