‘I think everybody saw this gap coming’

Oliver Luck was hired four years ago today, and I needn’t tell you a whole lot has happened since then. Nothing is bigger and nothing matters more than the move to the Big 12.

The athletic director knew a conference shift was coming, and what he anticipated and what he planned to do about it were the things that impressed former President Jim Clements most. Honestly, that’s why he was the only guy Clements interviewed.

What’s funny and kind of scary to think about today is that Luck really didn’t expect to get into that as quickly as he did.

“The thing that scared me the most as an alumnus and a former football player is this college football realignment and us waking up one morning and going, ‘Oh, what happened?’” Luck said last week in Charleston. “It was happening and it was the most important thing on my radar screen when I started.

“Personally, I thought we would be faced with that challenge in the first three or four years of my tenure and it happened much quicker than I thought. There was a crucial three- or four-month period, but thankfully we’re much better off.”

24 Responses to “‘I think everybody saw this gap coming’”

  1. Drew says:

    It’s too bad his biggest accomplishment has started off so poorly for WVU’s most important sport due to his biggest mistake.

    I hope he does better the second time around, either this December or next.

  2. Rick says:

    Wonder if you were thinking that after the Orange Bowl?

  3. Kevin says:

    I sometimes wonder if the Big 12 has a little buyer’s remorse in taking us over some (one in particular) other options available at the time and wish WVU’s 2 revenue sports weren’t struggling right after we got into the conference. I guess the positive is that there is time for the programs to improve and be as good as their reputations are before the tv contracts that drive realignment come up again.

    I know ADOL has his detractors, but I think overall he’s done a lot of good and can be proud of what he accomplished during his time at WVU.

  4. Drew says:

    For the record, I like Luck. I like his vision. I understand why he’s made the decisions he’s made. It just turns out DH either just isn’t HC material, or it just isn’t the right fit – be it timing or otherwise. Maybe he’ll be a good HC eventually, I don’t know, but here and now he is not.

    Rick, no I wasn’t. Turns out the OB was fool’s gold.

  5. avb31 says:

    The 2012 OB team went 9-3 and caught all the breaks they needed to go to the BCS. The 2011 team had the same record without the good luck.

    Amazing how the small things can add up.

  6. Dann White says:

    Great comeback, Rick!
    I wonder how many Stewart would’ve won withh an empty roster, the departure of the Prick Rodriguez’ staff holdovers, and the step up to the Big 12?
    Understand this, those of you who think we must win 10-12 games annually; WE’RE IN THE BIG 12 NOW! NOT THE BIG EAST, BIG 10, OR ACC! WE’RE IN THE BIG 12 NOW!

    Dann

    P.S. I wonder if Yodney Cajuste’s cousin “Sven” Holgorsen, helped with his recruitment???

  7. JP says:

    WVU to the Big XII is really the ultimate rejoinder to the Oliver Luck haterz. Raese should respect the cash infusion to the athletic department, but his head his so far up his own *** that he can’t see straight.

  8. The 25314 says:

    Drew nailed it.

  9. The poor decision Luck made in his handling of the Holgorsen and Stewart situation is far outweighed by what he’s done overall for WVU athletics.

    There isn’t a debate to be had on this subject. He’s given the AD a legitimate, secure revenue stream and has put our athletic programs in a position to compete with the best schools in the country. WVU is now able to do things that it really has never been able to do in the past.

    You can’t ask for much more than that. Now if only football and hoops would start upholding their end of the bargain…

  10. Drew says:

    Dann – I am in no way saying Stewart should have remained head coach. I’m only saying Dana wasn’t the right replacement. Also, no, I don’t expect WVU to win 10 games per year, particularly in the Big XII.

    Clarence – I agree completely. Luck is good for WVU. He just isn’t perfect. Sometimes ADs refuse to admit they were wrong about a hire and stick with them for too long. I hope Luck doesn’t compound his initial mistake in that way. WVU can have as much money as it wants but if it doesn’t translate to wins, then what is it worth?

  11. avb31 says:

    …what Drew just said…

  12. smeer says:

    Oliver Luck is smart enough to let HCDH stay this year and possibly next because

    1. HCDH might actually learn how to be a HC and start winning when he gets a full roster and stable staff
    2. If HCDH can’t mold the talent as least he will have brought in the talent so the cupboard isn’t bare for the next guy (the program will be much further ahead for the rigors of the B12 than where HCDH inherited it)
    3. he has a potential HC waiting in the wings in Bradley which could provide continuity or Bradley brings consistency, winning and player development to the current staff

    hindsight’s a bitch. the program while stumbling out of the gate in the B12 is where it needs to be. HCDH has had some real brain farts (eFore$t, coD coordinators . . .) anybody think that Geno’s last year would have been the hinge on continued winning if we had any kind of depth down the back stretch of that disastrous season?

    I guess my point is, the ball club should be in good shape in 2015 for whoever runs it. HCDH, if dismissed, will have left the program in better shape than when he inherited it. the final grade on ADOL’s hire of HCDH is not in yet.

  13. SheikYbuti says:

    …what smeer just said…

  14. Drew,

    No question, Luck will continue to be scrutinized (and rightfully so) regarding his decisions for the football program.

    He was in a difficult place for this coming season regarding Holgorsen. Last season ended on such a poor note that he wouldn’t have been blamed for firing him. Conversely, it’s easy to see why he gave Dana a vote of confidence. The program will have its hands full this coming season based on the schedule and the continuing development of the young depth on the roster. Those tasks would make it awfully difficult for a new coach to come in and experience success.

    I’m anxious to see how it all plays out.

  15. Joe Dryler says:

    In 2012, the death of the Big East felt a lot like the fall of Saigon. And somehow, in some way, ADOL got us on the last helicopter out of there, hanging on the rails, legs swinging in the air, watching those below sinking down into hell. But we held on, and, after being turned away by the USS ACC (never would of happened), USS SEC (please, child), and the USS Big 10 (how many TVs??), made it to out to the USS Big 12 steaming in the ocean of money.

    Ok, ok, maybe that metaphor got away from me a little bit, but the point is ADOL engineered WVU athletic’s transition from a potential spot in the desert to the promised land (uh, to mix in another metaphor). And for me, that got him more than enough credit to offset Stewart-gate, HCDH’s inconsistency (which has had its UPS! and downs) and WVRC sloppiness.

  16. anxiouseer97 says:

    We are lucky as heck to have Luck as our AD. Now, let’s see how well he can hold Holgorsen and Huggins accountable. The former deserves another season (I think); the later has me concerned that he’s lost “it.” Whatever “it” is.

  17. Rick says:

    Dude goes 10-3 with an OB win in 1st yr as a head coach, which wasn’t supposed to be until 2012. So 2 mediocre frustrating yrs later, it’s all but settled. He’s not a head coach. Let’s fire him and if the next guy doesn’t win a BCS bowl game in 3 yrs. let’s fire him too. Keep the cycle going. All successful football programs fire coaches without even giving them a chance to get 4 recruiting classes. Everybody knows that.

  18. Drew says:

    I’m still trying to figure out where I said DH should’ve already been fired. I didn’t. I’m saying he will be, either after this year or next. It’s a prediction. I don’t see him turning this around. The trends are all bad with the schedule getting harder.

    In regard to Luck, I’m saying when the time comes I hope he isn’t afraid to admit a mistake and pull the trigger. I also hope he will find a better coach to replace him.

  19. The 25314 says:

    I’ll say he should have been fired.

    But I’m actually really excited for our 3rd “young” team in a row. Imagine how much they could grow throughout the season! And then we’ll be perfectly positioned with a young team coming back in 2015.

  20. JP says:

    Elevate Tom Bradley to head coach

  21. JP says:

    If Holgerson spilts and WVU doesn’t hire Bradley as head coach, then I will be anti-ADOL. We have a backup plan guys. Chill.

  22. SheikYbuti says:

    You guys are surly drunks. I might also be drunk, but at least I’m happy.

  23. avb31 says:

    Why Tom Bradley? Career assistants are typically career assistants for a reason. We should know this better than most.

  24. Foul Shot says:

    Please, let’s stay away from Bradley as HC.
    We can do better.
    Hopefully Holgs gets it to a winning record and a bowl this year.
    If not, then they have to consider a change.
    Big money on the line.
    WVU can’t live with a half filled stadium and discontented fans. Plain and simple.