Last week, Texas Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds announced that he would be stepping down next August from the position he’s held for over three decades; however, many feel that the search for a new athletic director is already in motion and that change could come even sooner. As of now, it appears that the Longhorns’ have targeted West Virginia Mountaineers AD Oliver Luck as the top choice to replace Dodds.
Earlier today, BlueGoldSports.com, broke the news via Twitter that Luck will be interviewing for the position as early as next week; the site also claims that if offered, Luck would indeed accept the job.
As is the case with any candidate looking to fill such an enormous role at a major program, the possibility of Luck coming to Austin has been met with mixed feelings from Texas fans.
There is no doubt that Luck, a Rhodes Scholar who played quarterback for the Mountaineers but has a law degree from The University of Texas, certainly has the necessary experience to run a program as massive as the Texas athletic department.
After a brief professional playing career with the Houston Oilers, Luck worked his way up to a management position within the NFL, including working as Vice President of Business Development as well as the President and CEO of NFL Europe.
Luck later returned to Houston, and was hired as the CEO of the Houston Sports Authority. In his role there, he helped oversaw the financing and construction of Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros), Reliant Stadium, (home of the Houston Texans), and the Toyota Center (home of the Houston Rockets).
Later, Luck was named as the first president and general manager of Major League Soccer‘s Houston Dynamo, who won the MLS Cup twice during Luck’s tenure. Additionally, he helped secure funding for the team’s new $80 million facility.
He eventually made his way back to WVU, where he took over as the program’s athletic director in 2010. In his few years there, he is best known for driving the Mountaineer’s move to the Big 12 conference as well as the hiring of current head coach Dana Holgorsen.
Most recently, it was reported that Luck is to be named to the College Football Playoff’s impending selection committee.
There is no denying that Luck, if hired, certainly has the experience necessary to run the powerhouse that is The University of Texas Athletic Department, a program that DeLoss Dodds built into an empire and the wealthiest brand in collegiate sports. The only knock against him would be the question surrounding his ability to bring in top coaches, and it is believed that he would be responsible for bringing in a new football coach, basketball coach, and baseball coach at Texas.
Though it’s still early in the process, but there is a so much smoke surrounding Luck as Texas’ top target, that it’s certainly something to keep an eye on.