ODU Football: Bobby Wilder resigns after 1-11 season in 2019
“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 (John) Broderick for the opportunity he gave me 13 years ago to coach at Old Dominion University.”
Wilder tendered his resignation to ODU athletics director Dr. Camden Wood Selig and senior associate athletic director for football Bruce Stewart on Monday morning.
“This should in no way detract from or diminish the sacrifice and commitment that Coach Wilder has given ODU and our entire Hampton Roads community while leading our football program,” Selig said.
“Coach Wilder has dedicated the last 13 years of his professional career in the pursuit of excellence for ODU football. 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.”
Broderick also praised Wilder’s decorum.
“Coach Wilder has represented the University and our football program with class and dignity since the day we announced his hiring,” President Broderick said.
Wilder helped ODU launch football, signing his first recruiting class in 2008 and fielding the university’s first team in 2009.
He led the Monarchs to a pair of FCS playoff appearances, in 2011 and 2012, before the program moved to the FBS level in 2013.
ODU went 10-3 and won the Bahamas Bowl in 2016.
That was a high-water mark, as it turned out. The Monarchs had a 10-26 record over the last three seasons, including three victories against FCS teams.
The Monarchs lost a school-record 11 games in a row this season. Their only victory was a 24-21 win over FCS Norfolk State in the season opener. ODU was 2-14 in Conference USA the last two seasons.
Wilder finished his tenure at ODU with a 77-56 record.
As for the next coach, Selig said he is looking for an excellent recruiter with FBS experience. He noted that a new coach can tout ODU’s facilities, especially the new $67.5 million S.B. Ballard Stadium and recently enhanced L.R. Hill practice facilities, institutional location and a diverse student body.
The first of two national signing periods is Dec. 18-20. Selig says he expects to have a new coach hired by then.
Selig said the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation, the university’s fundraising organization, will buy out the last two years of Wilder’s contract for $600,000, fulfilling the terms of a deal he signed in 2017.
Selig indicated a national search will begin immediately and will use the assistance of a search firm.