Bobby Wilder Receives 10-Year Contract Extension

December 05, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 5, 2011

Press Conference:

NORFOLK, Va. -- On the heels of a 10-3 record, and as the most successful start-up football program in NCAA FCS history, Old Dominion University and head coach Bobby Wilder have agreed to a new 10-year contract that will keep him at the helm of the program through the 2021 season.

"First and foremost, I want to applaud President John Broderick and the members of the search committee for their vision in hiring Bobby Wilder in 2007," says ODU athletic director Dr. Wood Selig. "Bobby has done a masterful job in every facet of leading a high performing Division I football program. As the architect of ODU football, he has exceeded every goal and expectation that one could have reasonably held for ODU's football program. Coach Wilder literally micro-waved the start-up process, and in just three seasons has ODU football competing with the nation's elite.

The Monarchs completed the 2011 season this past Saturday at Georgia Southern, following a 55-48 loss to the Eagles in the second round of the FCS playoffs. In just the third season of the program and first in the Colonial Athletic Association, ODU was ranked as high as No. 9 in the national polls, and tied for second place in the CAA after being selected 10th in the pre-season coaches poll. The Monarchs earned regular season wins over Campbell, Georgia State, Hampton and CAA foes James Madison, William and Mary, Villanova, Massachusetts, Richmond and Rhode Island, while falling to Delaware and CAA champion Towson in games where the Monarchs held leads late into the fourth quarter. ODU defeated Norfolk State in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Nov. 26 before advancing to play Georgia Southern.

"I am extremely grateful to President Broderick, the Board of Visitors, Dr. Selig and others at the University for their support," says Wilder. "The Old Dominion University administration, athletic staff and community have been very supportive of this football program, and my family and I have been welcomed with open arms since the moment we arrived."

"We are building a winning program and tradition at ODU that is very special and my staff, my family and I look forward to calling this our home for a long time," adds Wilder.

A nominee for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award, Wilder was in the fourth year of a six-year contract that ran through the 2014 season. The financial terms and details of the new contract are expected to be completed over the next few months.

"I am incredibly pleased that Coach Wilder and Dr. Selig have reached an agreement enabling us to continue the high-quality, successful and exciting program that ODU Football is," says ODU President John Broderick. "I believe this commitment to Coach Wilder is important to our fans, student athletes and their families, and a notable endorsement of the outstanding program -- both on and off the field -- that he runs. Coach Wilder impressed me from his first interview in 2007, and has only continued to increase that respect since. I am excited for the future of ODU Football, knowing that Coach Wilder will be at the helm for the next decade."

Wilder was hired at ODU in February of 2007, becoming ODU's first football coach after a 69-year absence of the sport on campus. He signed his first recruiting class in February of 2008. In the first year of the program in 2009, the Monarchs posted a 9-2 record and followed with an encore 8-3 record last season. During that time, all 20 regular season home games, plus the most recent FCS playoff game with Norfolk State, have been sold out. ODU is ranked in the nation's top five in FCS attendance.

Prior to his arrival, Wilder served on the staff of his alma mater, the University of Maine, for 17 years, where he was promoted to associate head coach in 2001. As quarterback for the Black Bears, Wilder led his team to the Yankee Conference title in 1986, earning All New England honors while setting a school passing record of 4,493 yards. He is a 1987 graduate of Maine, holding a degree in health and physical education. He earned a master's degree in educational administration in 1990 from Boston College, where he also served as a graduate assistant coach.

"ODU football has become somewhat of a national benchmark by which other football programs, not just start-up programs, judge and measure their own success. Coach Wilder has been able to engage the community in record numbers while attracting some of the finest local high school football talent to attend ODU. The announcement of this new 10-year contract between ODU and Coach Wilder is another tremendous step forward for ODU football and for the great fans and supporters of our proud program," adds Selig.