With Ed Pastilong stepping down from his job as athletic director, West Virginia University has just begun its search for someone to replace him in the position.
I think the school should look no further than selecting a former alumnus, Oliver Luck, to head up the West Virginia athletic department.
Not only was Luck an outstanding quarterback for the Mountaineers from 1978-81, he led the school to one of its most famous bowl upsets, defeating Florida in the Peach Bowl, a game in which many analysts were calling “the lock of the year.”
However, outstanding wins by a former collegiate player do not necessarily mean that the individual would have the skills to run an NCAA athletic department.
Such is not the case with Oliver Luck.
The Mountaineer quarterback didn’t only lead his team on the gridiron; Luck was also an exemplary leader in the classroom. He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist, a two-time Academic All-American, and graduated magna cum laude.
In recognition of his academic honors, the former Mountaineer signal caller was recently named to the Academic All-American Hall of Fame.
Chosen in the second round of the 1982 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers, Luck was the third quarterback selected. Much of his career, he assumed a back-up role to future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, Warren Moon.
With his skills and intelligence, Luck has the ability to efficiently run any organization. His resume is impeccable.
After earning his law degree from the University of Texas, Luck has practiced law; he has been President and CEO of NFL Europe. In addition, the former Chief Executive of the Houston Sports Authority is currently the President and General Manager of the Houston Dynamo, a Major League Soccer team.
At present, Luck resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and children. His son, Andrew is the starting quarterback at Stanford.
This former product of Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School still has some significant ties to the state where he played his college ball. In 2005, Governor Joe Manchin appointed Luck to the West Virginia University Board of Governors.
In my opinion, there is only one person in the country who would be a better selection than Oliver Luck to run the Mountaineer athletic department.
That would be former Mountaineer and Los Angeles Laker great, Jerry West.
However, since I think it is unlikely that the former Laker General Manager would accept the job, the Mountaineers should immediately act to bring one their finest student-athletes back home to Morgantown.
Oliver Luck already has ties to the West Virginia program. He has the resume, experience, and credentials to be successful. Moreover, his intelligence should bring a creative, 21st Century approach to the position.
With West Virginia's basketball team currently enjoying some great success in the NCAA tournament, perhaps it's time that the university also brought some Luck to the athletic department.