NORFOLK (WAVY) – Addressing the media for the final time in 2018, Bobby Wilder said the 48 hours following his Old Dominion team’s 27-13 loss at Rice were “very emotional.”
Wilder fired four of his assistant coaches and two strength coaches, after the Monarchs (4-8, 2-6 Conference USA) finished with a losing record for a second straight season.
“I’m the type of person, I hate to lose,” said Wilder. “I’m miserable when we lose. I’m not a lot of fun to be around when we lose. When you have to back to back losing seasons, you have to look at everything.”
Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Rich Nagy, safeties coach Kermit Buggs, cornerbacks coach Sam Perryman, and offensive line coach Chris Malone were all relieved of their coaching duties on Sunday evening, as announced by the school.
It was a decision Wilder said was made entirely by him.
“Those are six good men, six good people who cared about Old Dominion University and the players, but they’re decisions that I made,” said Wilder. “I take full responsibility for them. They’re mine and mine alone, and what I believe is in the best interest of our program moving forward.”
Offensive coordinator Brian Scott will now be coaching the offensive line. Wilder said his top priority will be finding a defensive coordinator and a strength coach, who will need to be ready to work once the players return from Winter break on January 14.
Old Dominion’s defense struggled mightily throughout the season, giving up an average of 215 yards rushing and more than 35 points a game.
“Everything right now needs to improve,” said Wilder. “The philosophy of the program won’t change. You don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. We’ve had the ability to be successful here and play good football. That’s what we’re going to do.
“We’re going to stick with who we are philosophically, but there are some very obvious adjustments that need to be made.”