"So I explained what kind of opportunity we had. I told him we might have a small state, but we have a deep and passionate fan base. I told him we have a fan base with a chip on its shoulder. Seems we always have to punch above our weight. We're the southernmost northern school and the northernmost southern school. I told him, unlike some of the schools in Texas, we're No. 1 in our state.
"I told him about our facilities, [basketball coach Bob Huggins] and all we have to offer. I told him people will rally around you like you've never seen."
Especially when you win. And especially when you win like Holgorsen.
Luck recalled he didn't try to oversell WVU to Holgorsen during that meeting.
"I was trying to be upfront with him about the opportunity," said the athletic director. "I knew he was blunt within two minutes of meeting him. I was explaining the opportunity and he was trying to understand. I think he appreciated that I was a football guy."
Luck said Holgorsen was invited to see WVU's facilities and, about a week later, flew into Pittsburgh, where Luck picked him up. The athletic director drove Holgorsen to Morgantown, gave him a tour and introduced him to school president Jim Clements.
Thankfully, Luck admitted, Morgantown has changed since he played and was graduated.
"You couldn't have done this back then," Luck said. "People talk about infrastructure that's built to attract athletes. It is. But it matters for coaches too."
Soon, the deal was completed. Holgorsen was put in place to follow head coach Bill Stewart, who was subsequently removed before tragically passing away at age 59.
Now, in Holgorsen's second year as head coach, the Mountaineer season has been wildly successful so far. WVU football has never received so much national attention. Smith is a solid Heisman front-runner and possible No. 1 NFL draft pick.
"I had a coach in high school," Luck said, "that taught me to envision making great plays, whether they be free throws or that post pattern. You not only train your body, but your mind.
"In football, I was limited, so I did that. I continue to do that. I did that with the NFL in Europe. I did that with soccer. I'm doing that now."
One has to wonder, however, whether Luck's visions could ever have covered all that's happening now with WVU's football program.
"I'm not going to answer that," Luck said. "But I will tell you I spend most of my time thinking how things can be, as opposed to why things can't be."
It's a system that's working beautifully for WVU's football program.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.