West Virginia hires Oliver Luck as athletic director

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Oliver Luck was hired today as the new athletic director at West Virginia University.

Members of the university's board of governors were informed of the decision to hire Luck on Wednesday evening and the Post-Gazette first reported his hiring was imminent just after midnight on Thursday.

Luck, 50, who is a member of the board of governors, resigned from that post to accept the athletic director position.

Luck will be paid $390,000 in his new role.

Current West Virginia director of athletics, Ed Pastilong, will retire at the end of this month after serving as WVU athletic director for 20 years.

"Oliver has an unbelievable background, he's a true leader," West Virginia president James P. Clements said. "In my eyes, everything he touches turns to gold."

Luck has been working as the president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer team since 2005.

"This is a particularly challenging time in intercollegiate athletics, given the chess moves that are being made," Luck said. "I'm not sure, even as the dust settles, there will be a permanent solution to conference realignment. We need to make sure to protect, as best we can, West Virginia athletics and build onto what is already a great foundation."

Other people who were considered candidates to the West Virginia athletic director opening were Ohio athletics director Jim Schaus, Los Angeles Clippers vice president of communications Joe Safety, Kentucky deputy director of athletics Rob Mullens and Missouri executive associate athletic director Whit Babcock.

A former standout quarterback for the Mountaineers from 1978-81 and three-year starter, Luck was also a Rhodes Scholar finalist and graduated from West Virginia as an academic All-American.

Prior to working for the Dynamo, Luck was the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority chief executive officer for four years. He also served as the general manager of two World League of American Football franchises and was the vice president of business and development and the president and CEO of NFL Europe.

After playing for the Mountaineers, Luck was a second-round pick of the NFL's Houston Oilers, playing for that franchise from 1982-86.

In 1987, he received a law degree from the University of Texas.

Luck and his wife have four children. A son, Andrew, is the starting quarterback at Stanford.

Colin Dunlap: cdunlap@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1459.


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