Old Dominion Monarchs football

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Old Dominion Monarchs football
2018 Old Dominion Monarchs football team
Old Dominion Athletics wordmark.svg
First season 1930 (restarted in 2009)
Head coach Bobby Wilder
10th season, 72–37 (.661)
Stadium Foreman Field
(Capacity: 20,118[1])
Field surface AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D
Location Norfolk, Virginia
Conference Conference USA
Division East
All-time record 116–75–4 (.605)
Bowl record 1–0 (1.000)
Playoff appearances 2
Playoff record 2–2
Consensus All-Americans 7 (since 2009)
Current uniform
2017ODUFB Uniforms.png
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 FCS 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.

Bobby Wilder Era (2007–present)[edit]

Coach Bobby Wilder

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 26 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 I FCS Playoffs.

During the loss to Georgia Southern in the Quarterfinals, sophomore quarterback 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 5,000 yard mark in a season as well as setting the record for most completions in a season with 398.

Move to FBS[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 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 competed 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 Old Dominion 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


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]

In 2016 ODU bounced back from a 5-7 campaign the previous season to go 9-3 in the regular season 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 and finished the year 10-3. ODU recorded their 54th consecutive sellout against FIU in the home finale.

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
2016 Bobby Wilder Bahamas Bowl Eastern Michigan Eagles W 24–20

Coaching staff[edit]


Name Position Tenure
Bobby Wilder Head Coach 10
Brian Scott Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator 10
Rich Nagy Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers 4
Kermit Buggs Assistant Defensive Coordinator 3
Jeff Comissiong Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line 4
Ron Whitcomb Assistant Head Coach for Offense/Quarterbacks 10
Sam Perryman Cornerbacks 3
Chris Malone Offensive Line 2
John Allen Wide Receivers Coach 1
Charles Bankins Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator 2
Frank Wilson Special Teams/ Specialists 2


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 5–7 3–5 6th (East)
2018 Bobby Wilder
Bobby Wilder: 72–37 30–18
Total: 72–37 (.661)
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

* 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.

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

National Awards

QB Taylor Heinicke2012
  • FCS Player of the Year
QB Taylor Heinicke – 2012
QB Taylor Heinicke – 2012

Conference Awards

  • Offensive Player of the Year
QB Taylor Heinicke – 2012 CAA
  • Defensive Player of the Year
DT Ronnie Cameron2011 CAA
  • Freshman of the Year
RB Ray Lawry – 2014 C-USA

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of June 12, 2018.[11]

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
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 Virginia Tech
Sept. 12th
vs Virginia Tech
Sept. 11th
at Virginia Tech
Sept. 9th
vs Virginia Tech
Sept. 22nd
at Virginia Tech
Sept. 21st
vs Virginia Tech
Sept. 6th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 7th
vs Wake Forest
Sep. 19th
at Liberty
Sept. 18th
at Virginia
Sept. 17th
vs Buffalo
Sept. 23rd
at Virginia
Sept. 21st
at North Carolina
Sep. 26th
vs Liberty
Sept. 24th
vs East Carolina
Sept. 28th
vs Virginia
Nov. 21st
vs Idaho

See also[edit]

Old Dominion Monarchs football statistical leaders


External links[edit]