Multiple reports out of Texas suggest that Oliver Luck will be named the next athletics director at the University of Texas, succeeding the retiring DeLoss Dodds. Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com said on Metronews Statewide “Sportsline” Friday night that the announcement could come as soon as this week.

Luck hasn’t said a word about the job, and these stories rely on unidentified sources, so we won’t know for sure until there’s an official announcement. Still, the indicators point to Luck as the most likely choice.

WVU President Jim Clements is a fan of Luck’s. When the president announced last year that Luck’s contract had been extended from 2015 to 2017 with a pay raise (Luck’s base is $550,000 with performance bonuses of up to $150,000) he heaped praise on him.

“Oliver Luck is a true leader,” Clements said. “He has brought stability, momentum and energy to his position. He is someone we want on our team for many more years to come.”

Still, in the back of his mind, Clements must be developing a list of potential replacements in case Luck moves on.  Here are some people with experience and West Virginia connections that are being tossed around:

Rob Mullens. You can argue that Mullens already has one of the best jobs in the country as the AD at the University of Oregon. The athletic department is flush with cash thanks to the open checkbook from Nike founder and Oregon graduate Phil Knight.  For example, the new $68 million Football Performance Center, complete with Brazilian hardwood floors in the weight room, was paid for by Knight.

But Mullens has strong West Virginia ties, having grown up in Morgantown, where he received undergraduate and graduate degrees from WVU.  Mullens has an extensive background in the business side of athletics, including stints at Kentucky, where he managed day-to-day operations, and Maryland, where he ran the athletic department’s financial office.

What would it take to get Mullens back to West Virginia? Maybe just a call from Clements to say, “Come home. We need you.”

Whit Babcock. The Harrisonburg, Va., native had a successful five-year stint in Morgantown with the Mountaineer Athletic Club, the fundraising wing of the athletic department. While at WVU, Babcock earned a master’s degree in sports management in 1996.

Babcock left to take a position as senior associate athletics director at the University of Missouri.  In 2011, he was hired as athletics director at the University of Cincinnati, where officials said Babcock’s “background in fundraising, marketing, promotions, ticket sales, licensing and multimedia partnerships were key attributes in support of his hiring.

Shane Lyons. The current deputy director of athletics at the University of Alabama is a native of Parkersburg, W.Va. Lyons has undergraduate and graduate degrees from WVU in sports management.

Prior to going to Alabama in 2011, Lyons was an administrator for 10 years with the Atlantic Coast Conference.He also worked at the NCAA for nine years and spent three more within the Texas Tech compliance office.

Jim Schaus. The name Schaus is deeply rooted in WVU athletics. His late father, Fred, played and coached basketball at WVU and was athletics director from 1981 until his retirement in 1989.

Jim Schaus received his undergraduate degree from Purdue, where his father coached basketball, and his masters in athletics administration from WVU.  Before taking over at Ohio University in 2008, Schaus worked for nine years as AD at Wichita State University.

Bob Huggins. Last year, Huggins signed a contract extension that allows him to opt out of coaching after the 2017-2018 season and move into a public relations role with the athletic department. That suggests Huggins, 60, is contemplating the end of his coaching career and the next chapter in his life.

What the iconic coach lacks in administrative experience, he makes up for with his dedication to the University and the state, as well as the knowledge he has gained during a lifetime in athletics.

That’s my somewhat arbitrary short list, in no particular order. What’s yours?

 

 

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Comments

  • 3XMountaineer

    Plagiarism. Admit it or I make a call to JR.

  • Rob

    Intetresting how this all ended with Patterson getting the job.

    Now, let's go beat Texas!!!

    Go Mountaineers!!!

  • Mike C.

    Tim McNelly our next AD.

  • Mike C.

    Shawn,

    Question #1. Could WVU today beat N.C. Central, Troy, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Memphis, and Navy?

    Duke has defeated all of the above teams.

    Question #2. Can WVU defeat lowly Kansas and Iowa State to become bowl eligible?

  • big bubba

    As I write this, Ollie is out as the AD. Steve Patterson the AD at Arizona State has been named the new AD. It seems that Texas is not so dumb after all. They know a dead beat when they see one. Ollie screwed up WVU football. Texas didn't want him messing up their program.

  • Martinsburg Resident

    Oliver Luck is staying put!!! Let's Go Mountaineers! Texas hired Patterson and that is GREAT news for WVU! Hail WV Hail!

  • john b

    Find a qualified person! Doesn't matter if he has WVU Ties or not. Seems to me guys who have had ties to WVU or to West Virginia have screwed us the most. See DICK ROD and now Ollie Luck.

  • Brian

    Back when EP was still in, I was clamoring for either Mr. West or Oliver Luck and nobody else. I didn't think we could get either one, though. I think Mr. West is probably not available, but who knows, we managed to land Luck. This is the first I've heard of any of these candidates, except Whit and Huggs. Looks like a good list, so the sky might not fall.

  • David Kennedy

    Of course with an 'old school...old school is the way to go.

    Bob Huggins is the natural choice and has earned this position.

    Nothing else to say or debate.

  • jeremy

    bobby bonden needs to be are next ad

  • Faar Out

    My choice for any new AD is ANYONE who would give athletic scholarships to the Huffs, Boseleys, Mosses, Wests, Thorns, LaNeves, Kishbaughs, etc., etc. that are out there in- state but are ignored by the coaching staffs in favor of out- of-state social misfits. Those ignored athletes could, and would, bring a true sense of honorable appreciation for the high honor of representing the mores and ethics of the people of The State of WV on the fields and courts ( rather than IN the courts). And while I am ranting.... Any new AD might mute the crap music played on the PA systems? It might, indeed be "native" but it is not native to WV.

  • thornton

    Bob Fluharty

  • Martinsburg Resident

    Keep fighting to keep Luck until he says yes or no...then we can debate why he left or didn't leave and who would have been his replacement or hopefully NOT! Oliver Luck is a true Mountaineer & I will not fault him one way or the other.

  • John

    Jim Schaus did a great job here at Wichita State, he has a great eye for coaching tallent. Greg Marshall the coach that led the Shockers to the final four last year was hired by Jim

  • vashti

    how about ... Heather Bresch .... hhhmmm

    • Shadow

      Good idea, she has the right degree to do it!