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Oliver Luck

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Oliver Luck

Oliver Luck
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, West Virginia University
In office
August 20, 2010 – present
Personal details
Born Oliver Francis Luck
(1960-04-05) April 5, 1960
Cleveland, Ohio
Nationality  United States
Spouse(s) Kathy Wilson
Children Andrew, Mary Ellen, Emily, and Addison
Residence Morgantown, West Virginia
Alma mater West Virginia University (B.A.)
University of Texas (J.D.)
Oliver Luck
No. 10
Tight End
Personal information
Date of birth: (1960-04-05) April 5, 1960
Place of birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Career information
College: West Virginia
NFL Draft: 1982 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44
Debuted in 1982 for the Houston Oilers
Last played in 1986 for the Houston Oilers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1986
TDINT 13-21
Passing yards 2,544
QB Rating 64.1
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Oliver Francis Luck (born April 5, 1960) is the Director of Intercollegiate Athletes at West Virginia University, his alma mater. Luck is a retired American football player who spent five seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as a quarterback for the Houston Oilers (1982–1986). He was also the first president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer (MLS). Under his watch, the Dynamo won the MLS Cup in 2006 and 2007.

He is the father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Football career

Collegiate career

Darryl Talley (left) and Oliver Luck celebrate WVU's 1981 Peach Bowl victory

Luck attended St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, where he was a standout quarterback. He then enrolled at West Virginia University, playing quarterback from 1978–1981. In his freshman season, Luck only had 151 yards passing and five interceptions. As a sophomore in 1979, he passed for 1,292 yards and eight touchdowns, but threw 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 407 yards and five touchdowns, including a career-high 120 yards against Tulane.

In his junior season of 1980, Luck earned first-team Academic All-American honors. Luck's 19 touchdown passes was a school record, while he also added 1,874 yards. As a senior in 1981, he led the Mountaineers to the Peach Bowl where they defeated the Florida Gators by a score of 26–6. Also named Academic All-American for the second consecutive season, Luck threw for a school record 216 completions and 394 attempts to add to his 2,448 yards and 16 touchdowns. He added career-highs 360 passing yards and a school-record 34 completions in a loss to Syracuse that season.

Luck, who was a three-year starter, ended his career with school records of 43 career touchdown passes, 466 completions, and 911 pass attempts. His 5,765 career passing yards currently ranks fourth on the all-time school list. Luck still ranks in the top ten in nearly every career passing category.

Luck was a finalist to be a Rhodes Scholar (but he did not obtain the scholarship), a National Football Foundation Scholar, and a two-time GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American who graduated magna cum laude from WVU in 1982. He was named the team MVP in 1980 and 1981 and won the 1981 Louis D. Meisel Award. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Luck was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2000.[1]

After graduating from West Virginia, Luck's QB job was filled by Penn State transfer Jeff Hostetler, a future NFL Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl winner.

Professional career

Luck was the 44th overall selection in the 1982 NFL Draft, taken in the second round by the Houston Oilers. He was the third quarterback taken, after Art Schlichter (4th to Baltimore) and Jim McMahon (5th to Chicago).[2] As a rookie in the strike-shortened 1982 season, Luck saw no action. In his second season, the Oilers inserted him at the starting quarterback position, from which he threw eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions, completing 124 of 217 pass attempts. He threw for only 1,375 yards,[3] as the Oilers struggled to a 2–14 record.[4] He was teammates with fellow quarterback Archie Manning during the 1982 and 1983 seasons.

In 1984, the Oilers signed Canadian Football League star Warren Moon. Luck played as Moon's back-up for the majority of the season. He completed 22 of 36 pass attempts for 256 yards, two of which were touchdown passes, while having only one pass intercepted. Luck also had some success running the ball: he carried the ball 10 times for 75 yards and scored one touchdown.[3]

In 1985 and 1986, Luck continued to play back-up to Moon. He threw 100 passes in 1985, completing 56 of them with two touchdowns and two interceptions. In 1986, Luck's final season in the NFL, he completed 31 of 60 passes for 341 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions,[3] contributing to an Oilers' passing offense that finished 23rd out of 28 teams.[4]

Post-football career

After retiring from pro football, Luck received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1987. He graduated with honors,[5] and then accepted a fellowship to study the European Union and its legal system in Germany.[6] Luck is also a long-time member of the American Council on Germany.[7] In 1990, he was the Republican nominee for Congress from West Virginia's Second Congressional District, which included his alma mater, but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Harley Staggers, Jr. An ethical controversy arose after his campaign used a mailing list generated by the non-profit Mountaineer Athletic Club to send a photo of himself as WVU's quarterback, along with a letter from Luck, to over 4000 of the club's contributors. A state ethics commission report subsequently found that the list had been generated at Luck's request, and Luck apologized.[8]

In 1991, he became general manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy of the fledgling World League of American Football. He held the post for two years until the league was suspended. Upon its resumption in 1995, he became general manager of the Rhein Fire, and was named league president the following year. Luck held that role until 2000, during which time he oversaw the league's rebranding as NFL Europe, intended to strengthen the connection between the league and its parent, the NFL.

In 2001, Luck was sworn in as Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Sports Authority. In this role he oversaw the operations of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority, the governmental entity created in 1997 to provide the financing, construction and management oversight of the three large sports and entertainment venues in Houston: Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros), Reliant Stadium, (home of the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo), and the new Downtown multi-purpose arena (home of the Houston Rockets and Comets).

Prior to joining the Sports Authority, Luck was a top-ranking executive with the National Football League for more than ten years, where he served as Vice President of Business Development and President and CEO of NFL Europe. In 2005, he was named president of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. Luck worked with the City and County to create a publically funded downtown soccer stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium, which opened to much fanfare in March 2012.[9]

On June 27, 2008, Luck was appointed by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to the West Virginia University Board of Governors, effective July 1.[5] On June 9, 2010, Luck was hired as the athletic director of West Virginia University. Two years later his name surfaced as a potential candidate to fill the open athletic director's slot at Stanford University, where his son Andrew played quarterback and one of his daughters played volleyball. But Luck announced on May 17, 2012, that he was staying at WVU.[10]

During Luck's tenure, the WVU athletic program has made significant changes, including: WVU's move from the [20]

As of October 12, 2012, West Virginia University amended Luck's employment agreement, extending his contract through 2017.[21]

On October 14, 2013 Luck was one of 13 members unanimously chosen by the College Football Playoff Management Committee[22] to select the four teams to compete in the first College Football Playoff to be held in 2014.

Personal life

Luck is married to the former Kathy Wilson, with whom he has four children: Andrew, Mary Ellen, Emily, and Addison. Andrew played quarterback for Stanford and was selected number one overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft.[23][24][25][26]

In addition to his professional pursuits, Luck is actively involved as a coach for youth sports.


  1. ^ "Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame Inductees". College Sports Information Directors of America. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  2. ^ "National Football League: NFL Draft History". Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  3. ^ a b c "Oliver Luck NFL & AFL Football Statistics". 1960-04-05. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  4. ^ a b "1983 Houston Oilers Statistics & Players". Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  5. ^ a b "About President & General Manager Oliver Luck".  
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Hickman,Dave, "Luck learned much from run for Congress", West Virginia Gazette, June 14, 2010. [1]
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Oliver Luck says he’s staying as WVU AD, squashing talk he might be interested in Stanford job". The Washington Post. 2012-05-24. 
  11. ^ "WVU settles suit, to join Big 12 in July". 2012-02-15. 
  12. ^ "Stewart out, Holgorsen in at WVU". The Charleston Gazette. 2011-06-10. 
  13. ^ "Van Zant Fired". West Virginia MetroNews Network. 2012-05-19. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Fragale, Michael. "Luck's Employment Agreement Extended". West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "2012 NFL draft Big Board". 
  24. ^ "2012 Top NFL Draft Prospects". 
  25. ^ "Hot 100: Top prospects hold steady heading to combine". 
  26. ^ "Mid-March position rankings for 2012 NFL Draft". 

External links

  • West Virginia profile
  • Career statistics and player information from Pro-Football-Reference •
Preceded by
Darrell Griffith
Mark D. Herrmann
Donald J. Paige
Ronald K. Perry
Randy Lee Schleusener
NCAA Top Five Award
Class of 1982
Par J. Arvidsson
Rowdy Gaines
Oliver Luck
Kenneth W. Sims
Lynette Woodard
Succeeded by
Bruce Baumgartner
John Elway
Richard J. Giusto
Charles F. Kiraly
David R. Rimington
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