Football Announces Staff Promotions

December 09, 2011
By ODU Athletics

Dec. 9, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion head football coach Bobby Wilder has announced three promotions on his staff on Friday.

Offensive coordinator Brian Scott has been elevated to associate head coach, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ron Whitcomb will add offensive pass game coordinator to his duties and assistant coach Corey Hetherman has been assigned to defensive run game coordinator and linebackers.

"Coach Scott has developed one of the top offenses in the country at the FCS," said Wilder. "We have consistently been in the top 10 the past three years in most statistical categories including scoring offense. He is a leader within our staff and our program."

Scott joined the Monarch coaching staff in 2006 as the offensive coordinator and in each of ODU's three seasons the Monarchs were ranked among the top ten in scoring offense and top 25 in total offense among all FCS programs. In ODU's inaugural season in 2009, the offense finished third nationally in scoring offense, averaging 35 points per contest and 18th nationally in total offense averaging just under 400 yards per game. Additionally, the Monarchs ranked second nationally in sacks allowed and ninth among all FCS schools in fewest turnovers on the year with 14. In 2010, the Monarchs ranked eighth in the country in scoring offense, averaging 33.55 points per game, while this season, ODU's first campaign in the CAA, the team lead the conference and were sixth in scoring offense at 36.69 points per game and were the top team in total offense and 11th nationally at 439.08 yards per contest.

"Coach Whitcomb has developed Thomas DeMarco and Taylor Heinicke into outstanding quarterbacks at the FCS level, not only in the CAA, but nationally as well," Wilder remarked. "Our pass game will continue to improve under his leadership."

Whitcomb, who began his fourth year with the ODU program in 2011, has tutored signal callers Thomas DeMarco and Taylor Heinicke to great success. DeMarco went on to become the second leading quarterback in the FCS in rushing and was seventh among FCS student-athletes in scoring averaging 9.45 points per contest in 2009. In 2010 and 2011, DeMarco was also named to the Walter Payton Watch List, an award honoring the FCS's top individual honor. Heinicke, who took over quarterback duties for the Monarchs in the second half of ODU's October 1st contest with UMass, finished out the 2011 campaign completing 211 of his 307 passes with just one interception. Heinicke's name does not appear in the conference or national stats due to not playing in the minimum 75% of games needed to qualify. Having taken to the field in nine of ODU's 13 games, his 265 passing yards per game would have ranked 18th nationally, Heinicke's 160.2 pass efficiency rating would place him sixth nationally, and his 305.3 yards of total offense per contest would put him 10th nationally. Heinicke and DeMarco combined to give the Monarchs the second-best passing offense in the league at 274.7 yards per game.

"Coach Hetherman has continued to improve as a coach since the moment he arrived," commented Wilder. "He helped to develop Craig Wilkins from a very good safety into a First Team All-CAA linebacker in the 2011 season."

Hetherman came to the Monarch staff as a defensive assistant working closely with the rovers in the fall of 2010. Under Hetherman's watch, linebacker Craig Wilkins led the defense for the last two seasons which included earning First Team All-CAA accolades and becoming the first Monarch defender to crack the century mark in tackles in a single season in 2011. Wilkins totaled 74 tackles (35 solo, 39 assisted) along with a team-leading five fumble recoveries in ODU's 8-3 2010 campaign, while the redshirt junior linebacker registered 111 stops (58 solo, 52 assisted), was fifth in the CAA with 14.5 tackles for loss, and also amassed a pair of interceptions and fumble recoveries.

Since restarting its football team in 2009, Old Dominion has become the winningest start-up program in FCS history with a three-year total of 27 wins and only eight losses. In 2011, the Monarchs garnered their first national ranking, including cracking the top ten after concluding the regular season at 9-2 overall and 6-2 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association, a league which sent five teams to the post-season.

The Monarchs graduate only eight seniors from the roster - defensive linemen Ronnie Cameron, Chad King, and Edmon McClam, linebacker J.J. Williams, quarterback Thomas DeMarco, offensive linemen Ryan Jensen and Jeremy Hensley, and wide receiver Prentice Gill, and return 84 from the 2011 roster.

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