ODU ends season 1-11, coach Wilder promises a winning team next year

ODU Football

NORFOLK (WAVY) — With a sparse crowd at S.B. Ballard Stadium, Old Dominion lost its season finale to Charlotte 38-22.

The loss was ODU’s 11th in a row after opening the season with a narrow win over Norfolk State.

For the first time in program history, the Monarchs went winless in conference play.

But the topic most people are interested in is the future of head coach Bobby Wilder.

Hired in 2007 to build a program from scratch, Wilder has now had three consecutive losing seasons.

“This is different for me,” Wilder said. “I’m not a coach that was hired to clean up somebody else’s mess. I’m a coach that poured the last 13 years of my life into this, this is my baby.”

With only 12 seniors, ODU returns the bulk of its roster next season and Wilder vows that if he does indeed return, he’ll put a winner back on the field. And if he doesn’t produce a winner next year, he’ll step away.

“I’m 100 percent confident this team will win next year if I’m back, and if next year is not a success, then I’m gonna step aside. I made that point. I have too much love for this program, this is ingrained in me and I can’t imagine leaving it like this.”

Wilder says he plans to meet with Athletic Director Wood Selig on Monday, which he does after every season.

Selig and President John Broderick have a big decision to make. Retain the only coach that the program has ever known, or move on in another direction with another coach.

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