Old Dominion University parted ways with coach Bobby Wilder on Monday morning, a source told Yahoo Sports. Wilder helped restart the program at the school and coached there for 11 seasons. He went 77-56 as he shepherded it into a competitive FCS program.
Old Dominion went 1-11 this season and is just 2-14 in Conference USA play the past two seasons. Wilder’s struggles came in the wake of the program’s marquee victory, an upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech in 2018.
ODU’s free fall eased the emotional difficulty of the university letting go of the only coach it has had in the modern incarnation of its program. Wilder’s buyout is significant for a Conference USA school, though it dropped to $600,000 from $900,000 on Dec. 1.
Old Dominion is considered a promising job, as the bones include a $67.5 million stadium that opened this season and a rich recruiting environment in the Norfolk, Virginia area. Around Conference USA, coaches see it as a place that could evolve into a power.
There will be a wide pool of candidates that athletic director Wood Selig will be able to go through. While the athletic director at Western Kentucky, Selig hired Willie Taggart, who was then an assistant coach at Stanford, to be the football coach. It started a successful run there for Taggart. (The runner-up for that job was Mike MacIntyre, who went on to be the head coach at San Jose State and Colorado. He’s the defensive coordinator at Ole Miss.) Others who could be considered are Oklahoma assistant head coach Shane Beamer, William & Mary coach Mike London and Texas associate head coach Stan Drayton.
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