Oliver Luck has emerged as the serious front-runner to replace DeLoss Dodds as Texas' athletics director, according to a report from Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com on Monday.
Brown broke the news of Dodds' retirement on September 13 before the school publicly denied the claim. Dodds officially announced his retirement on September 30. Luck and Arizona State athletics director Steve Patterson are set to begin interviews as early as this week, according to Austin American-Statesman writer Kirk Bohls' report from earlier Monday.
UT president Bill Powers is leading the search in conjunction with the school's seven-person search committee and the Korn/Ferry International search firm. Both Luck and Patterson are graduates of the Texas Law School, and Powers is a former dean of the UT law school.
Powers stated in September he'd like to have a new athletics director in place by December 1, and Brown reports a Luck hiring could be in place by mid-November. Texas visits West Virginia on November 9, so the process will remain in a holding pattern through the completion of that game, but the Texas Board of Regents is scheduled to meet November 13-14 and West Virginia is off on November 16, so Brown states an announcement is likely to occur around that time.
A four-year NFL quarterback out of West Virginia, Luck has served as the CEO of NFL Europe, played a major role in securing funding and construction of Houston's Minute Maid Park and Reliant Stadium as CEO of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, became the first president of the Houston Dynamo, where he helped the club to two Major League Soccer titles and oversaw the construction of another sports venue, the soccer-specific BBVA Compass Stadium. In 2010, Luck returned to Morgantown to serve as his alma mater's athletics director, where he helped moved the Mountaineers from the Big East to the Big 12. Luck was named to the College Football Playoff selection committee earlier this month.
Brown states that Texas administrators believe Luck's time playing for the Houston Oilers and as an executive in the Houston sports scene will lend credibility with boosters as the athletics department braces for the possibility of changing head coaches in football, men's basketball and baseball within the near future.