Old Dominion Monarchs football

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Old Dominion Monarchs football
2014 Old Dominion Monarchs football team
ODU monarch logo.svg
First season 1930 (revived in 2009)
Head coach Bobby Wilder
6th year, 52–20 (.722)
Home stadium Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium
Stadium capacity 20,118[1]
Stadium surface AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D
Location Norfolk, VA
Conference C-USA
Division East
All-time record 108–33–4 (.759)
Postseason bowl record 0–0 (–)
Playoff appearances 2
Playoff record 2-2
Claimed national titles 0
Conference titles 0*
Consensus All-Americans 7 (since 2009)

Slate Blue and Silver

Fight song Victory for Old Dominion
Mascot Big Blue (lion)
Website odusports.com

The Old Dominion Monarchs football team is the college football program for Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The first iteration of the team created in 1930 was known as the William & Mary Norfolk Division Braves. The current Monarchs founded in 2009 compete at the FBS level. Beginning in the 2011 season, they joined the Colonial Athletic Association and added conference games to their schedule, prior to 2011 the team was Independent. Old Dominion football joined Conference USA, and consequently be moving up to the FBS, on July 1, 2014 (their other sports joined on July 1, 2013).



According to sports historian Peter Stewart, in September 1930 a reporter asked Coach Tommy Scott whether the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary should have a football team. Scott answered that he had not thought of having one, but within two days a team was "put together hurriedly" and began playing other small colleges.[2] In late December 1932 the team played the University of Miami Hurricanes in Miami, after the four-year college sent an invitation to William & Mary which the two-year Norfolk Division accidentally received.[3] The college played football for eleven seasons (1930-1941), with a record of 62-19-4. The program was discontinued due to a rule against freshman players, a $10,000 debt,[4] and accreditation issues. The team lost every game in its last season, attendance was small, and Stewart believes that World War II would likely have forced the program to end regardless of other reasons.[2]

Rebirth/Bobby Wilder Era[edit]

Old Dominion football began anew on April 11, 2009 with the spring game at Powhatan Stadium

According to Senior Associate Athletic Director Debbie White, ODU had tried several times to restart a football team. The university wanted to improve ties to alumni, who often stated in exit interviews before graduation their wish for an ODU football team, and rarely revisited the campus.[2] On June 14, 2005, the Board of Visitors approved with a 14-0 vote to create a new football team to compete at the NCAA Division I level, along with university's other sports teams, and to begin play in 2009. On February 9, 2007, Athletic Director Jim Jarrett announced that Bobby Wilder, then the associate head football coach at the University of Maine, would be the head coach, and the team signed its first recruiting class in 2008. As is the case with many new football programs, all players in 2008 were redshirted. These players, along with the recruiting class of 2009 and transfer players comprised the initial 2009 roster.

Old Dominion began play in 2009 as an independent team at the Division I FCS level (formerly I-AA), and joined the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2011 season. In 2009, their first competitive season in 68 years, the Monarchs finished 9–2. That was the best winning record ever for a first-year program in college football's modern era.[5] The Monarchs were outscored by a total of only eight points in their two losses.

Wilder's inaugural team finished the year ranked in the top ten in five FCS statistical categories, including second in sacks allowed, third in scoring offense, turnover margin and net punting. The 2009 Monarchs were ninth in rushing offense.[5]

In its first three years of competition after its rebirth, Old Dominion compiled a 26-7 record and earned a berth in the 2011 FCS playoffs, hosting, and defeating, crosstown rival Norfolk State. Also in 2011, after playing 27 games in its "modern era", ODU received its first Top 25 ranking on October 3, coming in at No. 21 in The Sports Network poll. The Monarchs were ranked among the Top Ten after competing in 33 games.[6]

ODU was fifth in FCS attendance in 2009, selling out all of their home games in the 19,782-seat Foreman Field.[7] Season tickets for the Monarchs' inaugural season sold out quickly and the school had to refund 1,065 orders.[8] Foreman Field, formerly the ODU field hockey and women's lacrosse teams' home venue, was renovated to accommodate the new football program. Field hockey and women's lacrosse were relocated to the Powhatan Sports Complex.

CAA Years: 2011 - 2012[edit]

Foreman Field Postcard (c. 1946)

ODU finished 9-2 in their first season in the CAA, good enough for second place in the conference. Most media had picked ODU to finish near the bottom of the conference, however ODU outperformed those predictions and ultimately hosted a first round FCS playoff game. On the 26th of November, 2011 the ODU Monarchs beat their crosstown rivals, the Norfolk State Spartans, 35-18 to advance to the second round of the 2011 FCS playoffs. ODU then traveled Georgia to play the Georgia Southern Eagles in the second round of the playoffs where they lost 55-48. Following the season the Monarchs finished 10th in the final poll.

In April 2012 several reports linked ODU to possible conference realignment in FBS with the Big East and the C-USA and possibly beginning conference play as soon as 2013. The Big East reports were silenced with the addition of schools University of Houston, University of Central Florida, Southern Methodist University, Boise State University, San Diego State University, and University of Memphis. However the C-USA was still interested in ODU after adding five new schools including University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Florida International, University of North Texas, Louisiana Tech, and Texas-San Antonio.

It was officially announced that in 2013 that ODU will join C-USA for all sports.

Despite being voted ineligible for the conference automatic bid and conference title the Monarchs finished atop the CAA with a 7-1 in conference record. By finishing the regular season 10-1 the Monarchs won an at large bid into the 2012 NCAA Division 1 FCS Playoffs.

During the loss to Georgia Southern in the Quarterfinals, sophomore QB Taylor Heinicke passed Steve McNair for the most passing yards in a single season by an FCS quarterback with 5076 yards. He also became the first quarterback to eclipse the 5000 yard mark in a season as well as setting the record for most competitions in a season with 398.

Move to the C-USA: 2013-Present[edit]

ODU began its transition to the FBS at the conclusion of the 2012 season. The Monarchs spent 2013 as an FCS independent team. Originally, the 2014 season was to be spent as an FBS independent before being fully accepted into the C-USA with both bowl and championship eligibility. After a vote by the C-USA, it was changed so that the program would be eligible in 2014 for the conference title and a bowl berth. ODU has announced plans to build a new on-campus football stadium, with seating for 30,000 expandable to 45,000.

The Monarchs will compete in the East Division of the C-USA and were voted by the media to finish in fifth place in the seven team East in their first preseason poll.

Yearly Record[edit]

All-time record vs. C-USA teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current CUSA opponents as of the start of the 2014 season:

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Charlotte 0 0 0 - - -
Florida Atlantic 1 0 0 1.000 Won 1 2014 2014
FIU 1 0 0 1.000 Won 1 2014 2014
Louisiana Tech 1 0 0 1.000 Won 1 2014 2014
Marshall 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
Middle Tennessee 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
North Texas 0 0 0 - - -
Rice 1 0 0 1.000 Won 1 2014 2014
Southern Miss 0 0 0 - - -
UAB 0 0 0 - - -
UTEP 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
UTSA 0 0 0 - - -
Western Kentucky 0 1 0 .000 Lost 1 2014 2014
Totals 4 4 0 .500


ODU has three traditional rivalries from their time in the FCS's Colonial Athletic Association. With their transition to the FBS's Conference USA new rivalries are expected with the closer teams such as UNC Charlotte.

William & Mary - Battle for the Silver Mace[edit]

Norfolk State[edit]

NSU and Old Dominion played for the first time on November 26, 2011 in the first round of the FCS playoffs which resulted in a 35-18 Spartan loss. Old Dominion and NSU announced a new deal for a home and away series in 2013 and 2015 to help fill out open game dates for ODU's transition to the FBS.[9] ODU plays at Foreman Field; NSU at Dick Price Stadium.

Old Dominion victories are shaded ██ blue. Norfolk State victories shaded in ██ green.

Date Winning Team Losing Team Location Series
November 26, 2011 #10 Old Dominion 35 #19 Norfolk State 18 Foreman Field ODU 1–0
October 26, 2013 Old Dominion 27 Norfolk State 24 Dick Price Stadium ODU 2–0
September 12, 2015 TBD TBD TBD TBD Foreman Field TBD x–x

James Madison[edit]

Individual Awards[edit]


Year Name Position
2009 Jonathan Plisco P
Dustin Phillips LS
2011 Jonathan Plisco P
Ronnie Cameron DL
2012 Taylor Heinicke QB
Jonathan Plisco P
Chris Burnette DT
Nick Mayers WR
Jack Lowney OT
Rick Lovato LS

Monarchs in the NFL[edit]

The ODU Monarchs have yet to have a player drafted in the NFL Draft since their rebirth in 2009 but have had six sign pro contracts as undrafted free agents. So far only one Monarch has made a team's 53 man active roster and another has been on a team's practice squad, despite several being invited to training camp.

DL - Ronnie Cameron - Cleveland Browns
G - DJ Morrell - Buffalo Bills *Signed futures contract from practice squad in December 2014

Monarchs in the CFL[edit]

Just like the NFL, the ODU Monarchs have not had a player get drafted into the Canadian Football League since the program's rebirth in 2009. However, they have had 2 players sign with CFL teams. One of whom, Deron Mayo, a linebacker, plays with the Calgary Stampeders. In 2014, the Stampeders went on to win the 102nd Grey Cup, where Mayo would lead the team with seven tackles and a forced fumble.

QB - Thomas DeMarco - Ottawa Redblacks
LB - Deron Mayo - Calgary Stampeders

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
at Eastern Michigan
Sep. 5th
at Appalachian State
Sep. 17th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 23rd
vs Virginia Tech
Sep. 8th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 7th
vs Virginia Tech
Sep. 10th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 23rd
vs Virginia Tech
Sep. 21st
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 13th
vs Norfolk State
Sep. 12th
at NC State at UMass vs Idaho
vs NC State
Sep. 19th
vs UMass
vs Appalachian State
Sep. 26th



External links[edit]