NCAA’s Oliver Luck to be 2016 Youth Power and Hope special guest
… oh, yeah, he just happens to be dad to a well-known quarterback
Indiana’s electric cooperatives and Electric Consumer are thrilled to welcome Oliver Luck, executive vice president of regulatory affairs for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and father of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, as the special guest for this year’s Youth Power and Hope Awards. While many know his famous son, Luck keeps a low, but accomplished profile. Here are some little-know factoids about the senior Luck:
- Cleveland rocks! Just like Paul Newman and Bob Hope before him, Luck grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He was quarterback for the Saint Ignatius High School football team and in 1977 he was named the Cleveland Touchdown Club Player of the Year. He was a standout on his high school’s basketball team as well. Luck graduated from high school in 1978.
- Luck turned down both Harvard and Yale universities to attend West Virginia University to play college football. He led the Mountaineers to their first victory in a bowl game in six years.
- He’s a smart cookie. He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist and graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University in 1982. He is a Phi Beta Kappa member.
- He was the rookie quarterback on the 1982 and 1983 Houston Oilers team that veteran “star” quarterback Archie Manning was also on. Among Luck’s “duties”: entertaining Manning’s two kids, Cooper and someone you might have heard of — Peyton. What makes this all the more coincidental is that Luck’s son, Andrew, would years later take over Peyton’s quarterback role on the Indianapolis Colts.
- He has a law degree. While an NFL player for the Houston Oilers in the 1980s, Luck attended the University of Texas at Austin, receiving his law degree in 1987. He knew that professional football careers were fleeting and wanted to have a backup plan. After leaving the NFL, he moved to Washington, D.C., got a job with a law firm and eventually married attorney Kathy Wilson. The couple briefly moved to Germany after Luck accepted a legal fellowship there.
- Luck could have been a congressman. He ran for a congressional seat in West Virginia’s second district in 1990. Though he lost the race, he received 44 percent of the vote.
- Luck and his wife spent the 1990s in Frankfort, Germany, and London. Luck launched and ran football franchises — and he and Kathy built their family of two girls (Mary Ellen and Emily) and two boys (Andrew and Addison).
- After the family returned to the United States from Europe, son Andrew decided to give Pop Warner football a try. His dad was his first coach. What position did he place Andrew in? Not the obvious one. He put him at defensive end.
- He speaks fluent German which was very helpful during his time in Europe. Luck’s mother, who was a chemist, was from Germany.
- He had a successful career growing the athletic infrastructure in Houston as CEO of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. Three new venues were built during Luck’s administration: Minute Maid Park (the Houston Astros’ home field), NRG Stadium (home of the Houston Texans) and the Toyota Center (home of the Houston Rockets). From there, after bringing Major League Soccer to Houston, Luck was asked to serve as president of the Houston Dynamos soccer team, a position he held for five years. During that time, a downtown soccer venue, BBVA Compass Stadium, was built in Houston.
- Like father, like son. Luck donned the number 12 while quarterback in college at West Virginia University. Andrew has kept the family tradition alive by wearing the number throughout his high school, college and pro careers.
- Now that Luck and his oldest son are living in the same city, they’re able to spend time together. Their favorite activities include biking on the Monon Trail in Indianapolis or chatting about books they’re reading. Luck’s been known to “borrow” books from Andrew without telling him.
Sources: Wikipedia, IndyStar.com, NCAA Champion Magazine, heavy.com
Luck photos courtesy of NCAA, WVUTODAY.wvu.edu, Lubbockonline.com