Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder resigns from position with program
Wilder helped restart the program in 2009, but is coming off three straight losing seasons
Longtime Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder has resigned from his position with the program. The decision comes after a 1-11 season, Wilder's worst at the helm, with the only win coming against FCS opponent Norfolk State.
"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 in a statement. "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."
"Coach Wilder has dedicated the last 13 years of his professional career in the pursuit of excellence for ODU football," athletic director Camden Selig added. "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."
This is not a traditional coaching change. Wilder was hired more than a decade ago to restart the Monarchs program, which had previously been dormant since 1940. Wilder was hired in 2007 and the Monarchs' first season as a FCS member began in 2009 with instant success. Old Dominion went 9-2 as a FCS Independent and two years later moved to the Colonial Athletic Association. By the time Old Dominion moved up to the FBS in 2013, Wilder had gone 38-10.
However, life in the FBS hasn't been as kind to Wilder. Though the first season as a FBS Independent resulted in a solid 8-4 record, the Monarchs had one winning season since -- albeit a wildly successful 10-3 campaign in 2016 that resulted in a share of the C-USA East title and a Bahamas Bowl victory. Since then, Wilder led three losing seasons with win totals gradually declining.
Following a season-ending loss to Charlotte over the weekend, Wilder made a strong public pitch for his job. "I am confident with 104 players back, 72 with game experience, 19 starters back, our kicker and our long snapper we will be a bowl team in 2020. if we are not at least a bowl team I would resign after next year and turn the program I built and love over to someone else for a new direction," Wilder told FootballScoop.
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