Another coaching domino has fallen, as Bobby Wilder is out at Old Dominion.
“I have resigned as head coach of the ODU football program as I feel it’s in the best interest for this program going forward,” Wilder said Monday. “I have poured my heart and soul into this university and our football program, but I feel this is the best decision for Old Dominion University. I plan to be an asset throughout the transition for the University.
“I would like to thank President Broderick for the opportunity he gave me 13 years ago to coach at Old Dominion University.”
The only head coach the program has ever known, Wilder started toe ODU program in 2007 and went 77-56 in 11 seasons. Highlights over that span include trips to the FCS playoffs in 2011-12 and a share of the Conference USA East Division championship with a Bahamas Bowl victory in 2016.
That 2016 breakthrough proved to be a peak, though. The Monarchs went 5-7 in 2017, 4-8 last season and 1-11 this fall, concluding with a 38-22 loss to Charlotte — a program younger than ODU but headed, coincidentally, to the Bahamas Bowl this month.
“Coach Wilder has dedicated the last 13 years of his professional career in the pursuit of excellence for ODU football,” ODU president John Broderick said. “I am extremely grateful to Bobby Wilder, our assistant coaches, our student athletes and our football support staff. Collectively they have given everything of themselves. They have represented ODU with class and dignity.”
A national search is underway to find the second head Monarch, and Shane Beamer will be a name to watch here.