Old Dominion Monarchs football

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Old Dominion Monarchs football
2017 Old Dominion Monarchs football team
Old Dominion Athletics wordmark.svg
First season 1930 (restarted in 2009)
Head coach Bobby Wilder
9th year, 67–30 (.691)
Stadium Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium
Seating capacity 20,118[1]
Field surface AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D
Location Norfolk, Virginia
Conference C-USA
Division East
All-time record 109–66–4 (.620)
Bowl record 1–0 (1.000)
Playoff appearances 2
Playoff record 2–2
Consensus All-Americans 7 (since 2009)
Colors Slate Blue, Silver, and Light Blue[2]
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. On July 1, 2014, Old Dominion football joined Conference USA, FBS, (their other sports joined on July 1, 2013).



Team photo of 1930–31 Norfolk Braves


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.[3] 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.[4] The college played football for eleven seasons (1930–1940), with a record of 42–36–4. The program was discontinued due to a rule against freshman players, a $10,000 debt,[5] 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.

Rebirth/Bobby Wilder Era[edit]

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.[3] 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.[6] 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.[6]

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.[7]

ODU was fifth in FCS attendance in 2009, selling out all of their home games in the 19,782-seat Foreman Field.[8] Season tickets for the Monarchs' inaugural season sold out quickly and the school had to refund 1,065 orders.[9] 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]

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 would 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 completions in a season with 398.

Move to the C-USA[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.

The Monarchs are in the East Division of the C-USA and the Monarchs won the final 3 games of the year to even their record and finished the season 6–6 and finished tied for 3rd in the east division. 2014 was Taylor Heinicke's final year of his career at ODU.

In 2015 ODU football team will compete fully bowl eligible. On September 19, 2015, North Carolina State played at Foreman Field. It was the first ACC and Power 5 school to play in Norfolk.

Prior to the 2016 season, Old Dominion announced that it would redevelop Foreman Field in two phases, Phase I would increase the capacity from 20,118 to 22,130 after rebuilding the east and west grandstands between the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Phase II would increase the capacity from 22,130 to 30,004, a timeline for Phase II has not been announced.

2015 Old Dominion vs NC State football game

First Bowl Victory[edit]

In 2016 ODU bounced back from a 5-7 campaign the previous season to go 9-3 and become bowl eligible for the first time. ODU clinched their 6th win on the year against C-USA power Marshall in Week 10 of the regular season. ODU went on to win the final 5 games of the regular season and accepted and invitation to play in the Bahamas Bowl to play Eastern Michigan and went on to beat EMU 24-20 for their first bowl win. ODU recorded their 54th consecutive sellout against FIU in the home finale.


The Monarchs appeared in the Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs twice in the only two years that they were in FCS competition before moving up to FBS. Their combined record is 2–2.

Year Ranking Round Opponent Result
2011 #10 First Round
Second Round
Norfolk State
#3 Georgia Southern
W 35–18
L 48–55
2012 #3 First Round
Second Round
Coastal Carolina
#6 Georgia Southern
W 63–35
L 35–49

Bowl games[edit]

# Season Bowl Game Result Opponent Stadium Location Attendance Head coach
1 2016 2016 Bahamas Bowl W 24–20 Eastern Michigan Eagles Thomas Robinson Stadium Nassau, Bahamas 13,422 Wilder, BobbyBobby Wilder

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Position Previous Playing Career Tenure
Bobby Wilder Head Coach Associate Head Coach – Maine QB Maine 1986 10
Brian Scott Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Recruiting Coordinator/Offensive Line/Running Backs/Tight End – Maine QB Maine 1999 8
Rich Nagy Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Defensive Coordinator/Safeties – Western Michigan RB Trinity 1987 4
Kermit Buggs Assistant Defensive Coordinator Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator – UConn QB Norfolk St. 1995 3
Jeff Comissiong Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Defensive Line – Boston College LB Maine 1997 4
Ron Whitcomb Assistant Head Coach for Offense/Quarterbacks Quarterbacks – Old Dominion QB Maine 2006 10
Sam Perryman Cornerbacks Defensive Backs – Lock Haven LB Lehigh 2003 1
Chris Malone Offensive Line Offensive Line – Chattanooga OG Virginia Tech 1995 1
Arick Forest Wide Receivers Coach Graduate Assistant – Ohio State 1
Charles Bankins Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator Special Teams – Vanderbilt RB James Madison 1994 1

Yearly record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Bobby Wilder (NCAA Division I FCS independent) (2009–2010)
2009 Bobby Wilder 9–2
2010 Bobby Wilder 8–3
Bobby Wilder (Colonial Athletic Association) (2011–2012)
2011 Bobby Wilder 10–3 6–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division I Second Round 10 10
2012 Bobby Wilder 11–2* 7–1 1st L NCAA Division I Quarterfinal 3 3
Bobby Wilder (NCAA Division I FCS independent) (2013)
2013 Bobby Wilder 8–4
Bobby Wilder (Conference USA) (2014–present)
2014 Bobby Wilder 6–6 4–4 T-3rd (East)
2015 Bobby Wilder 5–7 3–5 5th (East)
2016 Bobby Wilder 10–3 7–1 T–1st (East) W Bahamas Bowl
2017 Bobby Wilder
Bobby Wilder: 67–30 27–13
Total: 67–30 (.691)
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Coaches Poll.
°The Sports Network poll from 2009 through 2013, and the AP Poll from 2014 onward..

* ODU voted ineligible for CAA conference championship by league due to ODU's decision to leave for Conference USA. ODU finished first in the league and the university recognizes the 2012 team as unofficial champions of the CAA.

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

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current C-USA opponents

Team Games Played Division Last Meeting Record (W-L-T) Streak
Charlotte 2 East 2016 2–0–0 Won 2
Florida Atlantic 3 East 2016 2–1–0 Won 1
FIU 3 East 2016 2–1–0 Won 1
Marshall 3 East 2016 1–2–0 Won 1
Middle Tennessee 1 East 2014 0–1–0 Lost 1
Western Kentucky 3 East 2016 0–3–0 Lost 3
Louisiana Tech 1 West 2014 1–0–0 Won 1
North Texas 0 West 2017 0–0–0
Rice 1 West 2014 1–0–0 Won 1
Southern Miss 2 West 2016 1–1–0 Won 1
UAB 0 West 0–0–0
UTEP 3 West 2016 2–1–0 Won 2
UTSA 2 West 2016 2–0–0 Won 2

All-time record vs. Power 5 Teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Power 5 opponents

Team Games Played Conference Last Meeting Record (W-L-T) Streak
Maryland 1 Big 10 2013 0–1–0 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 1 ACC 2013 0–1–0 Lost 1
NC State 3 ACC 2016 0–3–0 Lost 3
North Carolina 1 ACC 2013 0–1–0 Lost 1
Vanderbilt 1 SEC 2014 0–1–0 Lost 1
Virginia 0 ACC 2018 0–0–0
Virginia Tech 0 ACC 2017 0–0–0
Wake Forest 0 ACC 2020 0–0–0
Total 7 0–7–0

All-time record vs. Group of 5 Teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Group of 5 opponents

Team Games Played Conference Last Meeting Record (W-L-T) Streak
App State 2 Sunbelt 2016 0–2–0 Lost 2
Buffalo 0 MAC 2019 0–0–0 -
East Carolina 1 American 2013 0–1–0 Lost 1
Eastern Michigan 3 MAC 2016 3–0–0 Won 3
Idaho 1 Sunbelt 2013 1–0–0 Won 1
UMass 1 Ind. 2016 1–0–0 Won 1
Total 8 5–3–0

* UMass was not FBS when the teams played in 2011.

FCS Rivalries[edit]

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 and Marshall.

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

Date Winning Team Losing Team Location Series
September 18, 2010 Old Dominion 17 #12 William and Mary 21 Foreman Field W&M 1–0
November 17, 2012 #11 Old Dominion 35 William and Mary 31 Zable Stadium Tied 1–1

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 Monarchs win. 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.[10] ODU plays at Foreman Field; NSU at Dick Price Stadium.

Date Winning Team Losing Team Location Series
November 26, 2011 #10 Old Dominion 35 #19 Norfolk State 19 Foreman Field ODU 1–0
October 26, 2013 Old Dominion 27 Norfolk State 24 Dick Price Stadium ODU 2–0
September 12, 2015 Old Dominion 24 Norfolk State 10 Foreman Field ODU 3–0

James Madison[edit]

Date Winning Team Losing Team Location Series
October 29, 2011 #15 Old Dominion 23 #9 James Madison 20 Foreman Field ODU 1–0
November 17, 2012 #4 Old Dominion 38 #13 James Madison 28 Bridgeforth Stadium ODU 2–0

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

Players in the National Football League[edit]

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.

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of October 10, 2016

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
vs Albany
Sep. 2nd
vs VMI
vs Norfolk State
Aug. 31st
at Buffalo
Sept. 12th
at Wake Forest
Sep. 11th
vs Virginia Tech
Sep. 10th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 2nd
vs Virginia Tech
Aug. 31st
at Virginia Tech
Aug. 30th
at Massachusetts
Sep. 9th
vs Virginia Tech
Sep. 22nd
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 7th
vs Wake Forest
Sep. 19th
at Virginia
Nov. 17th
vs North Carolina
Sep. 16th
at East Carolina
Sept. 29
vs Buffalo
Sept. 14th
at North Carolina
Sep. 26th
vs Idaho
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 23rd
at Virginia
Nov. 11th
vs East Carolina
Sept. 28
vs Virginia
Nov. 21st


Old Dominion Statistical Records[edit]

Old Dominion Monarchs football statistical leaders


External links[edit]