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Old Dominion Monarchs football

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 team founded in 2009 competed at the FCS level as an unaffiliated team for their first two seasons. In the 2011 season, they joined the Colonial Athletic Association of the FCS and added conference games to their schedule, playing there until 2013. On July 1, 2014, Old Dominion football joined the FBS's Conference USA (their other sports teams joined the conference on July 1, 2013).

Old Dominion Monarchs football
2019 Old Dominion Monarchs football team
Old Dominion Athletics wordmark.svg
First season1930 (restarted in 2009)
Head coachVacant
StadiumS.B. Ballard Stadium
(Capacity: 22,480[1])
Field surfaceAstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D
LocationNorfolk, Virginia
ConferenceConference USA
All-time record116–75–4 (.605)
Bowl record1–0 (1.000)
Playoff appearances2
Playoff record2–2
Division titles1
ColorsSlate Blue, Silver, and Light Blue[2]
Fight songVictory for Old Dominion
MascotBig Blue (lion)


Early history (1930–1941)Edit

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.[3]

Bobby Wilder era (2007–2019)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 unanimously 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: 2011–2012Edit

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, 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 FBSEdit

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.

2015 Old Dominion vs NC State football game

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.[10]

On September 22, 2018, Old Dominion shocked #13 Virginia Tech by defeating them 49–35 at home in front of a record crowd of 20,532. This game marked the first Monarch victory over both a Power 5 and ranked opponent.[11]

On April 26, 2019, Oshane Ximines became the first Old Dominion player selected in the NFL Draft.[12] He was drafted by the New York Giants in the third round with the 95th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

On September 22, 2018, ODU defeated Virginia Tech 49–35. Jeremy Cox (pictured, #35) rushed for 130 yards, including a 40-yard run that sealed the win late in the fourth quarter.[11]

On December 2, 2019, Wilder resigned as the head coach of Old Dominion. A replacement has yet to be announced.[13]

Conference affiliationsEdit


Divisional championshipsEdit

Joining Conference USA in 2014, brought Old Dominion to its first conference with divisions. Split up by eastern and western teams, the Monarchs compete against the eastern teams for a spot in the conference championship game. Old Dominion won its first title in 2016, sharing the title with Western Kentucky.[14]

Season Division Coach Opponent CG result
2016 CUSA East Bobby Wilder N/A lost tiebreaker to Western Kentucky

† Co-champions


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 gamesEdit

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

Individual awardsEdit


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
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 opponentsEdit

Announced schedules as of November 25, 2019.[15]

2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Wake Forest
Sep. 5th
at Wake Forest
Sep. 4th
Virginia Tech
Sep. 3rd
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 2nd
Virginia Tech
Sep. 14th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 13th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 12th
Virginia Tech
Sep. 11th
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 9th
Virginia Tech
Sep. 22nd
at Virginia Tech
Sep. 21st
Virginia Tech
Sep. 6th
Sep. 12th
at Liberty
Sep. 18th
at Virginia
Sep. 17th
Sep. 23rd
at UConn
Oct. 3rd
Sep. 25th
Oct. 1st
at Liberty
Oct. 7th
Nov. 21st

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Miller, Ed. "At the halfway mark, ODU's new stadium is coming together". Virginian Pilot. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  2. ^ "ODU Athletics Logo Identity Guidelines" (PDF). Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Blue and Silver. ODU Video Documentary. 2013-05-13.
  4. ^ Sweeney, James (Fall 2009). "Dr. A. Rufus Tonelson Recollects the Miami Game of 1932". ODU Football 1930 and Beyond, ODU Libraries. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Great Moments". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Bobby Wilder Profile,". Archived from the original on 2011-01-04.
  7. ^ ""Football Monarchs to Host Norfolk State in First Round of FCS Playoffs",, November 20, 2011". Archived from the original on June 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "Radford, Rich; "College Football 2010 - ODU game-by-game preview";". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  9. ^ "ODU football: Season ticket demand exceeds supply". Associated Press via the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2009-07-21.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Minium, Harry (June 6, 2017). "ODU seeks nationally prominent firm to design renovation of Foreman Field". The Virginian-Pilot.
  11. ^ a b "Old Dominion shocks No. 13 VTech 49–35 behind backup QB". USA Today. September 22, 2018.
  12. ^ Miller, Ed. "Oshane Ximines becomes first Old Dominion player drafted, selected by New York Giants". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  13. ^ "Wilder Resigns as Old Dominion Football Coach". ODU Sports. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  14. ^ "2018 Media Guide" (PDF). Old Dominion Athletics. p. 25. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  15. ^ "Old Dominion Monarchs Football Future Schedules". Retrieved November 25, 2019.

External linksEdit