From a player in the West Virginia Conference to an assistant coach at West Virginia University, Ron Crook has gone from a player with a balky back who had to give up the game early all the way to a well-traveled coach who’s called two of the nation’s best academic schools his home across the past decade.
What started with a student assistant salary at around $5,000 or so a year now is on the first few paragraphs of the next chapter and only about two hours away from his Parkersburg home while working for a man he once admired as a fan of the game.
But WVU is a very special place to Crook.
It’s also a bit ironic to be working for Luck, who was a quarterback for the Mountaineers from 1978-91.
During Crook’s childhood days in Parkersburg, he and his father used to watch the Mountaineers on television. He couldn’t have foreseen how his future would dovetail with the quarterback he was watching from his living room TV.
“Oliver Luck was the first guy who I knew who he was in a football uniform,” Crook said. “I saw him and I knew, hey, that’s Oliver Luck.”
Three decades later Crook, who is a father of three, witnessed his two sons discover their first gridiron hero. With Crook at Stanford, his boys looked up to Andrew Luck.
“That was a neat experience for me,” Crook said.