XFL founder Vince McMahon announced Tuesday that former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck has been hired as the rebooted league’s commissioner. Luck played four seasons for the Houston Oilers in the 1980s.
“Opportunities like this come along very infrequently,” Luck, 58, told the Associated Press. “You’ve got Vince, who is a visionary. A well-capitalized effort. A guy who has passion for the game, but realizes that there are others who have lived and breathed the game for decades who he was able to bring on board.
“An incredibly fascinating time in terms of technology that exists to engage fans. All of those combined led me to believe the key ingredients to a successful launch are there to deliver great football, which I think was one of the failings of the original league.”
The original XFL lasted just one season in 2001. While that incarnation tried to capture the violent, sexed-up image of McMahon’s WWE, the one scheduled to launch in 2020 has been promised as more serious in nature.
“Vince and others have really looked clear-eyed at the original XFL and acknowledged there wasn’t enough focus put on the game itself,” Luck said.
McMahon said in a statement: “Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football.”
Luck was once president of the now-defunct NFL Europe, general manager of the MLS’ Houston Dynamo and athletic director at the University of West Virginia. He is leaving his post as NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships.
He is also the father of current NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, who is under contract with the Indianapolis Colts through 2021.