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Oliver Luck to speak at dinner

February 22, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

WHEELING - West Virginia University Athletics Director Oliver Luck will be guest speaker at the annual Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce dinner set for April 19 at the White Palace, Wheeling Park.

A reception will be held at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are now on sale, and tables of 10 also can be reserved. For information, call Terry A. Sterling, chamber president, at (304) 233-2575, extension 17.

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. In his freshman season, Luck only had 151 yards passing and five interceptions. As a sophomore in 1979, he passed for 1,292 yards and eight touchdowns. He also rushed for 407 yards and five touchdowns, including a career-high 120 yards against Tulane.

After retiring from football, 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, which included his alma mater WVU, but he was defeated by incumbent Democrat Harley Staggers Jr.

In 1991, he became general manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy of the fledgling World League of American Football. He held the post for two years until the league was suspended. Upon its resumption 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 the NFL.

In 2001, Luck was sworn in as chief executive officer of the Houston Sports Authority. In this role he oversaw the operations of the Harris County Houston Sports Authority, the governmental entity created in 1997 to provide the financing, construction and management oversight of the three large sports and entertainment venues in Houston: Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros), Reliant Stadium, (home of the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo), and the new downtown multi-purpose arena (home of the Houston Rockets and Comets.)

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