Luckey to Lead Student-Athlete Support Services
Dr. Joe Luckey

Oct. 3, 2012

CINCINNATI - Dr. Joe Luckey, a native of Cincinnati, will return to his hometown to lead the University of Cincinnati athletic department's academic services unit, as announced today by UC director of athletics Whit Babcock. He will join the UC staff as the senior associate director of athletics for student-athlete support services and will oversee all aspect of student-athlete academics and life skills. He will also be the liaison to the department's athletic advisory committee.

Dr. Luckey is currently the past president of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A), the national organization for athletics departments' academic services. His involvement with N4A has also included membership on its board of directors, chair of the strategic planning committee and division director for professional development. He is a past recipient of N4A's Lan Hewlett Award which is the top honor for its active members. He has also been a faculty member for N4A's Professional Development Institute since its formation in 2005. Dr. Luckey's commitment to professional development and mentoring is evidenced by the literally dozens of institute participants and his former graduate assistants, interns and staff who are currently working in athletics academic services.

"We are thrilled to add someone of Joe's ability, reputation, and expertise to our staff," said Babcock.  "One of our guiding principles in our department is to center our focus on the student-athlete experience. Dr. Luckey's hiring is a strong commitment to the academic success of our 547 student-athletes and their overall development as young men and women who so proudly represent UC. Dr. Luckey's ties to the Cincinnati area are an asset and his decision to make this move as a destination job will benefit the Bearcats for years to come. We are pleased to officially welcome Joe and his family into our Bearcats family."

Dr. Luckey comes to UC after spending the past 10 years at the University of Memphis where he is the director of athletic academics and oversees the Center for Athletic Academic Services. At UM he also assists in NCAA eligibility certification and is an academic instructor. He has also served on NCAA and campus committees. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Provost's Star Award in recognition of his contributions in achieving the mission of UM's division of academic affairs and also the University's outstanding service award. For the past five years, he has been the chair of the Conference USA academic advisors committee.

"I am extremely excited to welcome Dr. Joe Luckey to the Bearcat family, "said UC lacrosse head coach Gina Oliver. "With his vision and experience, our academic support staff will thrive. There is no doubt in my mind that our student-athletes will become better students and athletes under Joe Luckey's leadership."

"Dr. Luckey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our department," said UC men's golf head coach Doug Martin. "A major part of every successful student-athlete is his or her level of success in the classroom. Joe will be a great asset to our 547 student-athletes' success."

During his time at Memphis, the athletic department set new highs for 10 different academic benchmarks including student-athlete grade point averages (GPA), the number of student-athletes named to C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and UM Dean's List, team and department-wide GPA. Further, better than 90 percent of student-athletes have graduated and every sports program has set its semester GPA record. There have been 17 academic All-Americans and last year every sports programs topped the NCAA APR standard of 930.

Dr. Luckey's academic research has included work for Houghton-Mifflin's textbook "Becoming a Master Student-Athlete", a dissertation that examined academic statistics related to the NCAA's Proposition 48 and Proposition 16, and post-doctoral studies comparing satisfaction levels of student-athletes against non-athlete students. He has made numerous presentations before N4A national and regional gatherings and C-USA meetings. He was also a member of the NCAA Division I-A task force on student-athlete development.

He began his professional career at Austin Peay State University where he spent 10 years, progressing from an intern to an assistant athletic director. Dr. Luckey earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Dayton, his master's in kinesiology from Indiana University and his doctorate in administration and supervision from Tennessee State University. He and his wife, Melissa, have three sons: Adam, Tyler and Ryan.

"My family and I are very excited to join the University of Cincinnati," said Dr. Luckey. "I'm very impressed with the commitment to academics and the overall experience of the student-athletes.  It is a great opportunity to work under the leadership of Whit Babcock and (UC Interim President) Dr. Santa Ono. The coaches and academic staff demonstrated a tremendous dedication to the university and the student-athletes."

His Cincinnati roots run deep. He is a graduate of La Salle High School and his parents work on the gameday staff for the Cincinnati Reds. On his University of Memphis bio, he lists our town's Skyline Chili as his favorite food.

"It a pleasure to welcome back to town a fellow La Salle grad," said UC men's basketball coach Mick Cronin. "He's a west-sider and Cincinnati guy through and through and it's great to bring him back home."

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