Oliver Luck Speaks to ALMBS Citizens

Oliver Luck

WVU Director of Athletics

Successful at each of his previous career stops, Oliver Luck continues that streak at West Virginia University. A former Mountaineer quarterback, Luck was appointed the University’s 11th Director of Athletics by President James P. Clements on July 1, 2010. He has made significant strides in his first three years to enhance WVU’s role as a major player in the world of intercollegiate athletics including guiding West Virginia University into the Big 12 Conference and securing state funding for a new ballpark for the WVU baseball team.

Luck was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where in 1977 he was named the Cleveland Touchdown Club Player of the Year at St. Ignatius High. As a student-athlete at WVU, Luck established school records for touchdown passes and completions during his careers while also leading the Mountaineers to a 26-6 upset victory over Florida in the 1981 Peach Bowl. Selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Houston Oilers (44th overall pick), Luck spent five years with the Oilers.

After retiring from football, Luck became an executive with the National Football League, which included spending 10 years in Europe working in a variety of positions, including 5 years as the President of NFL Europe. Luck and his family lived in Germany as well as in England. In 2001 Luck returned to the US, taking a position as CEO of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority.

In that role, Luck oversaw the development and management of a $1 billion professional sports and entertainment complex for the City of Houston that included Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and the Toyota Center. In 2005, Luck was appointed as the first president of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, guiding the team to a pair of MLS Cup titles in his first two years at the helm. Luck also secured public funding for a $100 million downtown soccer stadium, BBVA Compass Stadium, which is now home to the Houston Dynamo.

Prior to his current position at WVU, Luck was appointed by then Gov. Joe Manchin in 2008 to a four-year term on the West Virginia University Board of Governors.

The Rhodes Scholar finalist graduated Phi Beta Kappa from WVU in 1982. He also earned a law degree from the University of Texas, graduating cum laude in 1987. In 1997, Luck was inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2008, he was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame. He serves on the Board of Directors of American Campus Communities, a NYSE traded company that is the nation’s largest developer, owner and manager of high-quality student housing communities.

He is married to the former Kathy Wilson, a graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas. They have two sons and two daughters: Andrew, a former All-American quarterback and two-time Heisman Trophy finalist at Stanford and No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts; Mary Ellen, a junior volleyball player at Stanford; Emily, a freshman at Stanford and Addison, who attends Morgantown High School.