Chuck Carlton on Oliver Luck's possible departure to Texas.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s Oliver Luck could interview this week for the athletics director’s job at Texas, according to a report by OrangeBloods.com.

MetroNews file photo

WVU athletics director Oliver Luck could be hired at Texas to replace DeLoss Dodds by mid-November.

The website on Monday said multiple sources identified Luck as the frontrunner to replace DeLoss Dodds, the next hurdle being a face-to-face interview with UT’s seven-member advisory committee. If Luck makes a positive impression, his contract could be completed by mid-November, just days after Texas plays in Morgantown.

The OrangeBloods.com story follows a Friday report from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News that said “Luck is the guy, barring a snag.”

While Luck has repeatedly declined comment on the Texas position, neither has he stated intentions to remain at West Virginia.

Luck is midway through his fourth year as West Virginia’s athletics director, a stint in which WVU found a home in the Big 12 after being stiff-armed by the SEC and ACC amid the realignment shuffle. The power-conference affiliation should mean a steep revenue boost in coming years, as could Luck’s other measures: enacting stadium beer sales, the reseating of basketball season ticketholders and this year’s auctioning of third-tier media rights to IMG College. (The details of how Luck and WVU arrived at that contract with IMG remain the subject of pending litigation.)

However, Luck oversaw a hamfisted coaching transition from the late Bill Stewart to Dana Holgorsen, a decision Luck reportedly admitted mishandling to Texas officials, according to OrangeBloods.com. Holgorsen’s record in Big 12 games dipped to 5-9 with Saturday’s 35-12 loss at K-State, foreshadowing all kinds of hot-seat implications should WVU fail to make a bowl.

Luck also made Bob Huggins one of the 10 highest-paid basketball coaches in the nation last year, boosting Huggins’ salary from $2.3 million to $3 million annually at a time when the coach wasn’t clamoring for such a hike and seemed content to finish his career at WVU anyway.

Luck’s ties to Texas run deep. He followed his undergraduate days at WVU by earning a law degree from UT in 1987. He later served four years as CEO of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, participating in a pro-franchise facilities boom that included the opening of the NFL’s Reliant Stadium in 2002 and the NBA’s Toyota Center in 2003.

From 2005 until becoming WVU’s athletics director in June 2010, Luck served as president of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, working to fund the team’s 22,039-seat stadium that opened in 2012.

Luck recently was among the 13 members appointed to the college football playoff committee, which will set postseason pairings next season. His move to Texas wouldn’t necessarily affect that position, considering he could still serve as the sitting AD in the Big 12′s spot.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick reportedly declined interest in the job, but with the search firm of Korn/Ferry International vetting candidates, Texas could have its pick of top executives—from inside the NCAA and out.

Luck appears to be the current choice, but as Carlton wrote in the Dallas Morning News:

“He’s not without faults. The West Virginia football situation makes Texas look like the 2008 and ’09 vintage in comparison. The school’s bid process on third-tier media rights was messy.

“We know Luck is probably at the top of the short list now. The length of the search might tell us how much company he has — and how serious Texas is about finding the top candidate.”

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Comments

  • maggie

    Hey Ollie BEG for the job and please make Dana & company part of the deal. Do WV a one time favor.

    • Chuck

      Another comment from the peanut gallery!!!!! How bout you quit going to games! Wait. I'm sure you don't anyway like most commenters on here!

      • BH

        The move to the BIG 12 is GREAT for WVU. However, the head FB coaches contract ? -terrible knee jerk reaction.

  • mike

    here is my issue. everyone wanted out of the big east. The acc, sec and big 10 were not calling no matter what anyone thinks.

    everyone wanted to play "big boy football" well this is big boy football.

    It takes time, everyone wants to complain. well then if someone does not like it, donate money to MAC and you get a say. for example just look at baylor and art briles, look at his record the first 5 years and baylor stuck with him, now he has a program and the depth to keep it a program.

    it takes time, changing coaches does not work.

    does everyone know we have only 12 seniors on this team instead of 25. no ones fault it just takes time.

  • syd

    metronews has just become completely shameless. It's sad.

    • Fan

      Huh? What does metro news have to do with this thread....other than its a news story on their website?

  • Dave

    "it seems like people in WV (my parents included) hate change and want to hold wv back (not on purpose but with their logic)."

    You hit the nail on the head, Mike. And don't forget that we shouldn't hire anyone at WVU unless they are from WV.

  • wvman75

    This all speculation, and I still don't think he's going anywhere. Time will tell.

  • Ol' Boy System

    Is anyone else sick of the ol' boy system? It gets so frustrating that people just cannot seem to move on from the past. If Luck does take the job..wish him well. He's done more for WVU than Eddie P. ever did...yes I know like many of you WVU hasn't been very competitive I'm either basketball or football over the last couple years but that will improve over time. I'm sure he realizes that over time wounds will heal at the way the Stewart situation was handled and he's acknowledged that he dealt with it poorly. It just seems that there are some West Virginian's who just won't let it go and can't get rid of Luck soon enough. Would you rather be stuck in the AAC with the likes of UCONN and USF for he life of your program? College athletics is a business and when that's finally realized...people may be able too be on and support the program whether they are winning or losing. Also..pride is a great thing and it runs deep in this state but we also must realize that we ARE NOT ALABAMA...UM...OSU....FLORIDA. Those programs have realized that its a business and look where they are year in and year at. You have to think on that level to get to that level. Just a thought from a nobody who likes some healthy conflict from fellow fans. Love this state and this university more than I can ever express.

  • pghmountaineer

    Mike, I don't agree. The record, the state of both programs, and the coaching staffs in place are the only reasons why it counts.
    This state takes a lot of pride in these programs and they are both in a tailspin.

  • Moon

    You can't blame a guy for going to Texas. They spill more money than we make. Just the way it is...having said that, maybe he could send us some buy out money once he gets there.

  • mike

    Ok i need help with something. Seems like everyone wants OL out as AD, or they say he has no integrity, or is a bad guy.

    If all this is true why would

    1) the largest AD (budget) in the country would want him?
    2) he is one of 13 people on the first playoff panel
    3) last year it was rumored that stanford wanted him as AD. Also in top 5 in AD budgets in country.

    but for some reason he is bad for WVU and is not the right person.

    something does not add up. it seems like people in WV (my parents included) hate change and want to hold wv back (not on purpose but with their logic).

    Someone needs to come up with a good reason to why he is not a good AD.

    And being 3-5 in football or losing record in basketball does not count.

    • Bryan

      Excellent points mike! WVU was on a sinking (Big East) ship. Ollie navigated us through the realignment waters. Remember, WVU almost got the shaft in favor of Louisville. The football competition in the Big 12 is light years ahead of the Big East. Will take Holgorsen time (3-4 more years) before we can get a real footing in the conference. Huggins will transition to Big 12 style of play too....TIME people, and CHANGE. I am thankful to have Ollie as our AD. Big changes handled by a great leader with great credentials.

    • joe

      AMEN!

    • GoEers

      Mike,

      Those that do not like Luck are mostly the Marshall trolls who have been jealous of WVU's success over the years as well as their affitiliation with a BCS conference. They hate the fact that Marshall is irrelevant and is losing to former Div II schools that are now part of Conference USA. They hate the fact that Oliver Luck has made WVU an ADDITIONAL $30 MILLION PER YEAR in televison revenues when he was able to get WVU in the BIg 12.

      I hate to see him leave but thank him for a job well done.

    • Rick S.

      To answer your questions:

      1. Texas would want him because he has proven to be a very successful businessman, did great things for the city of Houston, and has ties to the University of Texas.

      2. The playoff panel would want him because of his diversity: he is a former college football player, a former NFL player, a current college executive, a proven businessman, has a law degree, and would have no conflict of interest with his current school because WVU is not (and probably will not be any time soon) a playoff candidate.

      3. Much like point one, he is a very successful businessman, his son was one of the greatest football players in Stanford history, and his daughter is currently a volleyball player there.

      As far as being a good or bad athletic director at WVU, I guess that is in the eye of the beholder. The people he fired or forced out, or the people who lost their prime basketball seats or who can no longer afford to attend a football game, or who can no longer get the football games on radio might not be happy with him. The people he hired, or the people who were able to improve their seats and access, or the people who cashed in from the IMG deal probably love him. Both sides have legitimate points of view.

    • Fan

      Here's a couple of reasons.
      1. Currently paying our head football coach 2 mil per year with the following record as a head coach. 10-3, 7-6, 3-?. Plus didn't include a buyout in his contract, so if WVU wanted to fire him, it would cost $11 mil.
      2. Paying special teams coach $500K per year (one of the highest, if not THE highest in the country) and our special teams are among the wordy in the nation. This is the same guy who was the defensive coordinator last year and we had one of the worst defensive teams in the country. This is also the guy who has been accused by Sports Illustrated of paying players at his previous job.
      3. Luck agreed to pay the basketball coach $3 mil per year. For what? Have you seen our hoops teams over the past few years.
      4. Luck himself improperly handled the 3rd Tier rights bids and was removed by the university president.

      How many more reasons do you need?

      • stevewvu

        After your head coach wins a BCS Bowl game, it might be a good idea to give him a raise before other teams start knocking on the door. But then again, you are now a WVU fan. You're the type of person that would get on Luck if Dana had left after the Orange Bowl because he didn't get a raise.

        And you are absolutely incorrect on the buyout. There is a buyout. I believe it started at 2 mil and goes down each year. Fan I'm trying to figure why you even post comments when you have no idea what you are talking about.

        • OhMY

          Better check again Stevewvu. There is no buyout. It's been reported many times and confirmed by WVU. If they let him go, it costs $11 million

    • GregG

      Tell me Mike, how many rich folks are there in Texas and California, and how many are there in WV? News flash Mike, WV is lucky to have the support it gets when it comes to $$ and ticket sales. Texas and California supports how many top tier programs? I knew from day one that money bags Luck had been rubbing shoulders with the elite rich for far to long to return to WV. Luck is finding out that his "rich and powerful" status doesn't carry as much weight in the hills of WV.

    • Greg

      Now let's not bring logic and common sense into this. People's heads will begin to explode! ;)

    • Jock Strap

      I agree it seems as the masses are always against bettering yourself and taking it personal. Luck has done a tremendous job to ensure WVU gets a place in big money football. Thanks to him even with travel WVU will bring in more money than ever and be in conference where if you do have a good or undefeated season there is a reward. I just don't understand the hate for him, Dana and even Rich when he left for a better job. I don't apologize for the better job it is what it is. Dana didn't come to WVU beating down the door saying he was the man kick out StewRt and I will show you, instead he was a successful offense coordinator with a good resume who was offered the job and accepted it to better his self and try and move up in life and people hate him for that. That's how life should be work hard to improve yourself and try to achieve the highest, why do people not like it when this happens? What ever happens I wish Luck the best, hope he stays but understand if he doesn't .

    • Curious

      The "change" didn't and isn't working.

    • JimJim

      "And being 3-5 in football or losing record in basketball does not count", have you got any other rules, fool!

  • pghmountaineer

    One more thing. As AD at Texas and their huge budget, he can continue to stick it to WVU making sure Texas reaps the most benefits from the Conference.

    • ron "from morgantown"

      Maybe Pitt is a better fit for you to support , they may have more in common with your overall Northern disposition .

    • Big Larryl

      HOW OLIVER LUCK BECAME A WVU ICON

      Everyone keeps saying..."Oliver Luck is so Great and wonderful...Look at what he did...he got us into the Big 12..."

      NOW HERE'S THE TRUTH:

      All Oliver Luck did was make a phone call...any half wit moron could have done that....just like he made a phone call to the SEC and the ACC....

      A phone call...A phone call....what else did he or could he do?...Did he Take them all out to dinner? NO. Did he meet with BIG 12 officials and convince them to invite us? NO. Did he mesmerize them with his great negotiating skills? NO. All he did was make a phone call.....and say... " Can we join your conference?" That's it...

      HERE IS HOW IT PLAYED OUT:

      1. The BIG EAST falls apart.

      2. WVU gets nervous & desperate

      3. The BIG 12 is on the verge of falling apart

      4. The BIG 12 gets nervous and desperate

      5. Oliver Luck calls the BIG 12 and asks to join.

      6. The BIG 12 considers WVU and Louisville

      7. The BIG 12 chooses WVU

      8. The BIG 12 has second thoughts and now wants Louisville

      9. Jay Rockefeller makes a phone call to the BIG 12

      10...The BIG 12 selects WVU

      11. Oliver Luck becomes an Icon in West Virginia

      And now you know....

  • DWM

    I think this would be a timely move by Luck. As his mismanagement continues to fester (3rd Tier Rights, firing of a successful Stewart, hiring of an apparent failure in Holgerson, dissatisfaction by the fan base with the move to the Big 12), now would be a good time to find a lucrative way out of town before it all blows up and being Andrew luck's dad becomes his only claim to fame.

    • Chuck

      Unhappy with the big 12 move. Are you people serious!!!!! Where would you rather be??? Answer that one. Can't say acc or sec. They do not want us. Big 10? Nope. They don't either. So where?

      • Larry

        Face it, anywhere would be better than the big12, where your nearest opponent is 800 miles away.

        • joe

          Larry,

          I seldom comment and mostly just ignore your idiot 2 cents.... but seriously? Anywhere would be better? So 2 million a year in a sucky conference would be better?

          I cant believe I allowed you to get me to pay attention to you since that is all you are on here for anyhow... to post stupid crap and get people worked up.

          • Larry

            Name another school in the same situation with regards to such extreme travel and I'll reconsider!

        • GoEers

          larry would rather hav e WVU in Conference USA so they can be irrelevant has his beloved Herd

          Nice game against Middle Tennessee State

          • Greg

            Larry, Washington and Washington State come to mind. Quite a hike from there to So Cal, Utah, Arizona or Colorado. That being said, how about Colorado? I would imagine that you've never been on a plane in your life but try flying from Denver to SeaTac or Spokane sometime. That flight is as long as any WVU makes.

          • susanf

            We are pretty irrelevant in the Big 12. And it is completely stupid to be in a conference in which the travel costs will eat up a large portion of the so-called "profits" to be gained from being in the Big 12. And if the attendance continues to drop because they aren't competitive, so will the profits. I would rather be in a smaller conference, or NO conference, for that matter than to be in the mess we are now.

          • Larry

            I'm with Susan on this, it would be nice to play a team in the same time zone.

          • stevewvu

            Doesn't sound like Susanf or Larry have any clue of what they are talking about. Those 'so called" profits is the 30 million in tv revenue WVU gets each year from the Big 12. I am sure that you two would love for WVU to play in the AAC where the tv revenue is 2 million and you still have to fly to Texas to play Houston and SMU, or worse Conference USA where you get less tv revenue and still have to play UTSA, Florida Atlantic, Tulsa and a bunch of other no name schools.

            Stop posting about WVU because you have no clue what you're talking about.

          • Larry

            Thanks steve for clearing that up, you seem extremely intelligent.

          • wv_hawk

            I agree GoEers.

            The Move to the Big 12 was a liife-saver for WVU. Other moves by Mr. Luck are not as good.

            However -- this talk (susanf)about the added cost of travel is easy to answer with a simple "Bing" or "Google" search. And there you'll find:

            WVU spends $2 million MORE to travel in the Big 12.

            BUT they receive $30 from the Big 12 versus the $5 - $7 million they got from the Big East -- so I think we'll be OK, susanf...

      • Cody

        You know I am exhausted with comments the ACC wouldn't take us. There was no money on the table. Cut Dana's waste of a salary and offer the ACC some money, then see. Luck was not proactive at all with the ACC because he was glued to the big 12. Now he can shame us even more with Texas wins over WVU, how pathetic.

        • Rock Solid

          Cody, you are not paying attention to the facts. The ACC did and does not want anything to do with Wva or WVU. We are considered a Community College compared with the research universities that are members of the ACC. Hell our grads for the most part would flunk out of any of the ACC schools in their freshman year if you asked an ACC president to tell you the truth, and not be polite. Stop living in your fantasy world. WVU is a land grant University offering an education to it's citizens, most of which are border line ACC candidates, let alone Big Ten, Sec, or Ivy league prototypes. I think they are WRONG, but it is their thought process and there is nothing we can do about it. It is a reality, live with it, Hillbilly!

          • Robin

            Yeah North Carolina is sure turning out the rocket scientist on that football team. NC State is just churning out the brain surgeons on the defensive line.

            As dumb as you say WVU students are it is amazing we have anyone attend at all. Might as well bun my degree.

          • Cody

            Good gosh rock solid, what an unintelligent comment about academia! You have got to be kidding me if you think their student body is academically stronger. I say first handed what one of these schools reared...sorry but we mountaineers are right there with them. Good gosh. Delete your post, you have insulted yourself.

        • stevewvu

          might be the dumbest statements I ever heard

        • Hillbilly

          I agree with Cody. Luc is abut to prove his heart is in TEXAS, not WV folks!! There was no real effort to get into the ACC, because Oliver wanted us in his comfort zone and future!! The B12 and TEXAS!

          • Big brother to Larry

            Cody & Hillbilly You both are wrong you do not have the facts you do not know what you are talking about. The ACC & SEC did not want West Virginia in their conference, their main reason and purpose to expand is $$$$$$. TV . West Virginia has a population of less than 2 million people. That is not as much as certain cities in this country... Look what the ACC has picked up the big populated schools where there is a TV audience... The Big Ten has picked up Rutgers getting the state of New Jersey and New York area TV. They also picked up Maryland and DC area ... The SEC Picked up Texas AM & and Missouri for the same reasons the whole state of Missouri will follow them a portion of Texas will follow A&M... In football Rutgers and Maryland is not that good but they got to the people... It comes down to money.... That is the reason the big 12 does not expand and can pay out more money in their league they stayed at 10 teams... Now if you can open up your mind and understand what is being said here you will see why West Virginia did not go to the ACC or the SEC because there is no money to be made for them to be in a league... West Virginia went to the big 12 because it needed to tames the following year after Missouri had left and Texas A&M... Louisville could not get in the following year like West Virginia did out of the Big East.. Mr. luck had some ropes to pull and got WVU in the big 12 knowing that the Big East was going to go down .. Take it or leave it or swallow it.... It is what it is

      • Jay

        Not at the bottom go big 12 year in and out

    • Will

      Firing of a "successful" Stewart. Wrong. Three straight 9-4 years against a relatively weak schedule. 9-4 against the schedule we played in the '80s or the one we're playing now in the Big 12 may be ok with the occasional "jump up" to Top 5 status every now and then, but 9-4 against that competition, with bad losses: firing deserved.
      "Dissatisfaction by the fan base with the move to the Big 12," again Wrong. If we weren't there lined up to take in $25M per year and in a "Power 5" conference, we would be in the AAC taking in $2M per year and we would never play for a National Championship again.
      I will be saddened if Ollie leaves. Great QB, obviously loyal to WVU by coming here to be AD when he has had bigger jobs, and had the vision to make necessary changes in coaching, conference, and facilities.
      I understand if he goes there though. Who wouldn't take what I would assume would be a huge pay raise and the chance to lead one of the Top 5 athletic programs in the country?

  • pghmountaineer

    He knows full well the mess we're in. That's why he's getting out. If he had any intentions of staying he wouldn't be interviewing.
    What a disappointment. Make a mess then cut and run and leave it for someone else to clean up. Unbelievable.
    Mountaineer fans have a right to be disgusted.

    • Hedgesville

      couldn't agree more. the rat jumps a sinking ship

    • squad

      Come on man, would you not accept a promotion on the scale of this? Texas is one of the absolute regional giant institutions in the USA. He should take it and we should hire the guy from Oregon. Its a no brainer. Either we're chained to the past or we have to try to move on...Good luck Ollie- thank you for getting us in the B12 and saving us from the small mindedness that we cant seem to have the patience to outgrow.

      • Robin

        Seriously? I am tired of hearing how much better other schools are as a reason to justify leaving. WVU is a good school and if you graduated here and come back and tell people how happy you are to come back and all that other syrup then stay and make it into a great school.

        Don Nehlen came here and is still here. He cares about the school and the state and he actually had a perfect season, not once but twice. So don't give me that crap about leaving for a better place. Nehlen stayed and made it a better place.

        • Hillbilly

          I agree with Robin! Luck is just like Rich Rod...turning his back on his Alma Mater! For those who would have Rich Rod back, to H.. with the turncoat! We don't need him if he is the last coach on Earth. He had his chance in his home state and he proved his true colors. As for Luck....you have us in a mess and lack the integrity to hang here to see this through, to wherever it is taking us! But oh wow, we have money rolling in...along with a bunch of defeats!!

        • Marcus

          Spot on Robin!!

          • Big Larry

            I say fire Huggins and Holgorsen and give that 6 million dollars to Nick Saban...

            The basketball program is already in the Abyss...So you can get practically any sap to coach for nothing and win 13 games...

            So what's the big deal?

        • Mr. Perfect

          A perfect season would imply no losses...sadly that is not the case. However, two 11-1 seasons are solid.

          • WVinFL

            Just remember the two seasons prior to both of those years were less than stellar......I don't recall folks calling for Donny to go...

    • GregG

      They just can't help themselves, that is the nature of Luck and his kind. It's all about the $$$! All I can say is........don't let the door hit you. Oh, and....take your Red Bull chugging buddy with you!

    • steve

      luck is the new R-rod, good by and please take Dana with you.

    • hailey

      pgh, ...he is getting oput because texas is a much better gig...simple as texas is the top AD job in the country.

      It's not like he is taking a latteral move oto another mid tier program. I appreciate what Luck has done on most fronts, but he certianly has his fair share of massive screw ups, I am suprised UT wants him.

      I believe we will find a great AD hopefully one with the stones to get rid of the FB and BB coaches

  • Jim N Charleston

    Congrats Oliver. You deserve it.


    Glenn Close probably won't follow you to Texas due to the orders of a 4 time US Senate runner up who lost his cash cow known as WVU Sports. Thanks for getting WVU in the Big XII.

    • susanf

      Good riddance! I hope he is on his way to Texas, if they are dumb enough to take him.

  • MoMoney

    Out with Luck as AD.
    In with Jim Schaus.
    Integrity over $$$$ this time around.

    • Chuck

      If he gets the job we are done!!! No vision. Good ole boy network that has held us back

  • zero tolerance

    Please take the job!

    • Big Larryl

      If any of the readers know how to pray and get a prayer through...

      NOW IS THE TIME TO PRAY!!!

      Please pray that Oliver Luck will accept the job and take Dana "The Man in Black" Holgorsen and Bob "Sweatsuit" Huggins with him...

      And yes...Prayer changes things!!!

      • Bobby M

        Friend! Whats the story WITH using "sweatsuit" with Bob HUGGINS?!!!?? I see Dana Man With Black AND understand relation to funeral AND how he's burying the TEAM and program! But I dont understand THE sweatsuit because its BASKETBALL and about all WEAR suitsuits from all teams across THE country! Maybe it means Bob huggins is a national GUY??!!!?

        • Larry

          Most college coaches wear suits, not sweatsuits.

          • Bobby M

            Doesnt make super much SENSE to me BUT live on!!! Rumble Larry AND thanks!!!!!

            Victory AWAITS!!!!

      • Brent

        Those of you who have never run a business and never had to make difficult decisions based upon fact rather than emotion can pontificate from now until you are happy. The reality is we were in Big trouble, NO OTHER CONFERENCE wanted us and he found us a safe landing spot. What did his predecessor say when asked about the oncoming realignment explosion? "I have asked the Big East commissioner and he says there is nothing to that. He would tell me if there were"
        That is what leaders do. They anticipate oncoming problems and fix them before they become disasters. Rarely does the fix satisfy everyone, but it allows you to live to fight another day.