West Virginia University Athletics Director Oliver Luck will be the guest speaker at the annual Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce dinner set for today at the White Palace, Wheeling Park.
A few tickets remain available. For more information, call Chamber President Terry A. Sterling at 304-233-2575, ext. 17. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
Luck is a retired football player who spent four seasons in the National Football League as a quarterback for the Houston Oilers from 1983-86. He was also the first president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. Under his watch, the Dynamo won the MLS Cup in 2006 and 2007.
Luck attended St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, where he was a standout quarterback. He then enrolled at WVU, playing quarterback from 1978-81. Luck, a two-time Academic All-America selection between 1978-81 and a Rhodes Scholar finalist, is a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
During his tenure as athletics director, Luck has been anything but complacent when it comes to promoting WVU sports. He has hired a new head football coach in Dana Holgorsen and also led WVU from the Big East Conference to the Big 12, where the football team will begin conference play this coming season.
He also pushed for and was granted permission from the WVU Board of Governors to allow beer sales at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Luck received a juris doctor from the University of Texas, graduating in 1987 with honors, and he practiced law in Germany. In 1990, he was the Republican nominee for Congress from West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Harley Staggers Jr.
In 1991, he became general manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football. He held the post for two years. In 1995 he became general manager of the Rhein Fire, and was named league president the following year. Luck held that role until 2000, during which time he oversaw the league's rebranding as NFL Europe, intended to strengthen the connection between the league and its parent, the NFL.
In 2001, Luck was sworn in as chief executive officer of the Houston Sports Authority. Prior to joining the Sports Authority, Luck was a top-ranking executive with the National Football League for more than 10 years, where he served as vice president of Business Development and president and CEO of NFL Europe. On June 27, 2008, Luck was appointed by then-West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin to the WVU Board of Governors, effective July 1.
On June 9, 2010, Luck was hired as the athletics director of WVU. Luck is married to the former Kathy Wilson, with whom he has four children: Mary Ellen, Emily, Addison and Andrew.