One of our own has been selected to be the next Athletic Director
Congratulations on our outstanding selection for WVU Athletic Director
by President Clements and the screening committee which consisted of WVU
Alumni Association Chair Nancy DiPaolo! – Steve Douglas.
Oliver Luck, former WVU and NFL quarterback, Academic All-American,
named WVU’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
June 10th, 2010
President James P. Clements today (June 10) named former West Virginia
University and NFL quarterback and Academic All-American Oliver Luck as
West Virginia University’s director of intercollegiate athletics,
effective July 1.
Luck, 50, president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo soccer
franchise in Houston, Texas, will fill the position when Ed Pastilong
retires on June 30. Pastilong will serve as Athletic Director Emeritus
Oliver Luck “is the clear choice to carry forward what has truly been a
golden era in athletics. I am thrilled to welcome Oliver back to West
Virginia and WVU, and I am confident that he will do an outstanding
The two-time Academic All-American is a member of the Academic All
American Hall of Fame and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. He was also a
National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, graduating from WVU magna
cum laude in 1982 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
“Oliver Luck is someone who has succeeded at the highest of levels at
everything he has done – from his college and professional football
playing days to his academic pursuits and his professional business
career,” said President Clements. “He is the clear choice to carry
forward what has truly been a golden era in athletics. I am thrilled to
welcome Oliver back to West Virginia and WVU, and I am confident that he
will do an outstanding job.”
“It is truly an honor to be selected to serve my alma mater as
athletic director, and to succeed such a fine gentleman as Ed Pastilong,
who has served WVU so well for so many years,” Luck said. “My
passion and love for West Virginia University has never wavered, and to
return to a school that has built a solid foundation in academics and
athletics over the last two decades is exciting.
“And while it’s a challenging time in intercollegiate athletics
with discussions on conference realignments and other issues, I look
forward to working with the University administration, athletic staff
and coaches and others to remain a successful, attractive and fiscally
responsible intercollegiate athletic program,” he said.
“WVU is truly one of the outstanding land-grant universities in the
country, and I am so pleased to be a part of its momentum and growth,”
he said. “This is a tremendous opportunity —a chance to return to a
University and a state that I love at a dynamic and strategic time in
its history. I want to thank President Clements and the screening
committee for their confidence in me.”
“My passion and love for West Virginia University has never wavered,
and to return to a school that has built a solid foundation in academics
and athletics over the last two decades is exciting.”
Luck assumes the position at a time when the University is engaged in a
long-term strategic planning process, which Clements has said is “an
ideal time” to lead the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics into
the next chapter in WVU’s history.
Screening Committee Chair Dr. Sam Ameri said he was impressed with
Luck’s academic background and his emphasis on academics. “Oliver
Luck truly believes in the mission of this University – teaching,
research and service – areas so important to the faculty, staff,
students and our state citizens,” he said.
“I also like his focus on our student-athletes and graduates being
ambassadors for WVU and representing themselves in a way that the image
of the University is enhanced,” he added.
A formal welcome celebration and press conference with Luck is expected
to be held Monday, June 14. More details will follow.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Luck played quarterback for the
Mountaineers from 1978-1981, setting school records for touchdown passes
and completions, and leading the team to a Peach Bowl victory over
Florida as a senior. He ended his career as a three-year starter with
school records of 43 career touchdown passes and 466 completions out of
911 passing attempts. His 5,765 career passing yards ranks him fourth on
the school’s all-time passing list. He was named MVP in 1980 and 1981,
and also earned the 1981 Louis D. Meisel Award for the WVU scholar
athlete with the highest grade-point average. He was inducted into the
WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
In 1982, he was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the
Houston Oilers, and either started or played back-up quarterback through
the 1986 season. During that time, he earned his law degree from the
University of Texas cum laude.
After retiring from football, Luck became vice president of business
development for the National Football League and President and CEO of
In 2001, he became chief executive officer of the Harris County-Houston
Sports Authority, overseeing the development and management of over $1
billion of professional sports and entertainment venues in Houston:
Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros; Reliant Stadium, home of
the Houston Texans and the Livestock Show and Rodeo; and the Toyota
Center, home of the Houston Rockets.
He became president of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo in 2005,
and the team won two MLS Cup championships in his first two years in the
He is married to the former Kathy Wilson. They have four children:
Andrew, the starting quarterback at Stanford; Mary Ellen, an incoming
freshman volleyball player at Stanford; daughter Emily, an incoming high
school junior; and 7th grade son, Addison.
Luck, who was appointed to the WVU Board of Governors by Gov. Joe
Manchin in 2008, resigned his Board position this week. (Contract
information will be available in the near future.)
Clements thanked the screening committee for its careful and thoughtful
review of the applicants and insight into the process that helped him
with his decision.
“I appreciate the hard work and diligence of the screening
committee,” Clements said. “There were many outstanding candidates
in this national search. I am confident we’ve found the ideal person
to lead this department to even greater success.”
WVU Athletic Achievements
Luck will lead a strong, healthy athletic department.
Over the past two decades, more than $85 million in facility
renovations have taken place within the Department of Intercollegiate
Athletics, including many at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium,
making WVU’s football facility among the nation’s best. Suites on
three sides of the stadium were added, along with club seating, an
indoor practice facility, new locker rooms, an academic center and hall
Other improvements include a new soccer stadium and women’s soccer
training facility, gymnastics and wrestling facilities, and renovations
to the Coliseum and Hawley Field.
The department’s budget has also grown from $20 million to more than
$59 million over the past two decades, and WVU joined the BIG EAST
football conference in 1991 and became a full-fledged member in 1995.
A growing endowment fund and an academic honor roll were also
established, along with a sports hall of fame.
In addition, WVU has finished in the Top 50 in the Director’s Cup
standings two out of the last three years; WVU is currently ranked No.
Stephen L. Douglas
WVU Alumni Association
Join today http://alumni.wvu.edu
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