Rahne stays optimistic, even with ODU Spring practice cancelled


NORFOLK (WAVY) – Talk about a test.

A little more than three months after taking over the reigns at Old Dominion, Ricky Rahne was supposed to be a week into his very first Spring practice as a head coach.

Instead, he’s still planning for the first time he’ll get to see his team. When? Who knows.

“This is unprecedented,” Rahne said via Skype from his home in Pennsylvania. “This isn’t something you can plan for. This isn’t something that we need to get upset about. It’s just something we need to work around and adjust to.”

Spring football practice became the latest sporting cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Rahne may be a first-time head coach, but he pointed out, he’s in the same boat as everyone else.

“I have as much experience at handling this as any coach in the country, because this is completely unprecedented,” said Rahne.

Rahne’s staff keeps in constant contact with the players via phone, text and FaceTime, and continues to recruit, even though prospects are not allowed on campus for the time being.

The players continue to keep in shape, motivated by the day they will finally get to see the field. “We’re not mandating anything, but we are encouraging them to keep in shape because we don’t know when this is going to come back, and when we do we know we’ve got to try to pick up and keep going,” said Rahne.

For Rahne and the Monarchs, who finished 1-11 in Bobby Wilder’s final campaign last season, time is of the essence. Spring ball is normally the time every coach in America gets the first look at his new team.

Rahne can only hope his team gets some sort of “Spring” reps during the Summer. Otherwise, the first time they’ll hit the field will be for Fall camp at the start of August; only a month before their season-opener against Wake Forest.

“I’ve got a couple different plans in place, whether we get some Spring practice in over the Summer, whether we don’t get any, whether we get added practices in the Fall, I’ve put in a couple different plans for that.

“It’s just about how we use the time we have,” said Rahne.

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