The ASUN Conference and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) announced today that its football partnership has adopted a basic governance structure and engaged Oliver Luck as Executive Director. Luck begins his consulting role with the group effective immediately. The Council of Presidents will feature co-chairs David McFaddin, Eastern Kentucky University President, and James Hurley, Tarleton State University President, when the new conference officially begins play in 2023.

“Oliver Luck is one of the most respected leaders in NCAA athletics,” said Tarleton State University President James Hurley. “He brings an incredible amount of knowledge, passion, and expertise to our common and unified goal. He will work collaboratively with our commissioners, presidents and athletic directors to ensure that our football conference is among the best in the nation.”

Luck was a three-year starter at quarterback for West Virginia, finishing his career by leading the Mountaineers to a 26-6 win over Florida in the Peach Bowl. While becoming WVU’s all-time leader in touchdown passes and completions, he graduated magna cum laude as a 4.0 honor student in history and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Luck was selected by the Houston Oilers in the second round of the NFL draft and played with them from 1982 through 1986. He then earned his law degree from the University of Texas.

In his professional career he has worked with the NFL, served as General Manager of the Rhein Galaxy of the World League of American Football, and was President and CEO of NFL Europe. He adds experience as CEO of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and President of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamos. In 2010 Luck became Director of Athletics at his alma mater, leading the West Virginia program until 2015 when he became NCAA Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. He later served as Commissioner of the XFL and is now Chairman of Altius Sports Partners.

“We have 10 presidents with the same goal – to elevate our institutions through outstanding academic programs, world-class faculty and staff and ALL of our Division I sports, including our historic football programs competing and winning at the highest possible level of competition and recognition,” said Eastern Kentucky University President David McFaddin. “With Oliver Luck’s leadership, we have added an important piece of that equation. This is an exciting time for our schools, our conferences and for the overall growth and strength of both the ASUN and the WAC.”

“I’m excited to work with 10 outstanding presidents who have a united vision to build their football programs,” said Luck. “Together, with WAC Commissioner Brian Thornton and ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart, we are going to build and execute a game plan for success. The NCAA is in a transformational stage and now is a great time to build a new football conference.”

Luck will be available for one-on-one conversations with national media representatives on Friday, January 6, between 9:00 a.m. – Noon (ET). Interested delegates should schedule a time through the WAC communications office [].


The ASUN-WAC Football partnership began with a combined group that built the ASUN-WAC Challenge in 2021. Featuring an automatic qualifier (AQ) into the FCS playoffs each of the past two years, the ASUN WAC football group enters year three with nine participating institutions: Abilene Christian University, Austin Peay State University, University of Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky University, University of North Alabama, Southern Utah University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Tarleton State University and Utah Tech University. The group will add the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in the fall of 2025 when it begins sponsorship of football.