Andrew Luck Makes Rare Public Appearance at His Alma Mater for Special Halftime Ceremony

by Suzanne Halliburton

Andrew Luck maintains a low profile. by design. He walked away from the NFL back in 2019, two weeks before the season started with the Indianapolis Colts.

But Luck is in the news this football season, but not for anything he did with the Colts. Rather, the Stanford Cardinal brought back their old quarterback to honor him for his collegiate career. The Cardinal athletic department did so Saturday night when Stanford played host to Southern Cal. The reason? Luck’s induction into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.

Before the game, Stanford tweeted a photo of Andrew Luck with the caption: “Welcome home, Andrew.” The photo showed a happy and content Luck with his wife, Nicole Pechanec, and the couple’s two daughters.

Andrew Luck married Nicole in 2019, the same year he retired from football. Going back to Stanford is a happy memory for both of them.

After all, Luck started three seasons with the Cardinal. In his final two seasons, Stanford won a collective 23 games with only three losses. Luck earned MVP honors for Stanford’s win in the Orange Bowl his sophomore year. Then he led the Cardinal to a Fiesta Bowl berth his junior season. He was a two-time Pac 12 player of the year and finished as runnerup for the Heisman Trophy in 2011.

But there’s more than one athlete in the Andrew Luck family (And we’re not talking about his dad, Oliver Luck, the former NFL quarterback.) Nicole competed for Stanford gymnastics and was captain of the team her senior season. She’s also as smart as her cerebral husband. They both studied architectural design at Stanford. When the Colts selected Luck with the No. 1 pick of the 2012 NFL draft, Nicole started grad school at Indiana. She earned her MBA and worked as an intern with NASA.

The two married in a small ceremony in Prague. Although Nicole was born in New Jersey, she competed for the Czech Republic. She represented that country in three world championships.

Now that Andrew Luck is out of football, he can be a girl dad for his daughters. During an interview with ESPN Saturday night, Luck shouted out Title IX, which is 50 years old this year.

“I want my girls to have ALL the opportunities in the world that little boys get as well,” Luck said in the interview.

But Luck didn’t bring his old team good fortune for their game against the Trojans. USC beat Stanford 41-28. The Trojans, under new coach Lincoln Riley, are one of the hottest teams in the country. USC quarterback Caleb Williams, the former Oklahoma Sooner, also is putting up numbers good enough for the Heisman conversation.

But Stanford still had one of its stars to celebrate. Besides, Luck will be around this fall. Stanford coach David Shaw recently revealed that Luck has enrolled in grad school.

“He’s starting grad school this fall. He just had baby No. 2. His life is great,” Shaw said in an interview with Rich Eisen. “Yeah I don’t know if I was supposed to publicize that or not, but yes, he’s starting grad school this fall.”

The football team’s social media crew posted another two snaps of Luck. with the caption:

“One of the greatest to ever do it is 𝙤𝙛𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 a Hall of Famer. Congratulations, Andrew.”