NORFOLK (WAVY) — Two and a half months after its Myrtle Beach Bowl game against Tulsa, Old Dominion returned to the practice field for spring practice this week.

Last season, the Monarchs were 1-6 before rattling off five consecutive wins to become bowl eligible.

Coach Ricky Rahne wants his team to be grounded and not let that hot streak to end the season get to their heads.

“For me the number thing that I want to figure out is how are we going to handle success and failure,” Rahne said. “Are the guys reading the press clippings and thinking they’ve arrived or are they trying to get better everyday?”

One way Rahne has looked to get better is by bringing in a new offensive coordinator, Dave Patenaude, who held the same position at Georgia Tech last year.

“I’ve known him for 16 years,” Rahne said. “He’s a genuine, honest person and it’s a pretty easy deal for him to build chemistry with the players.”

Offensive lineman Nick Saldiveri added, “I can go into his office and chill and listen to music and talk about football. That’s something good about a coach you can have personal relationship with them and they also know football.”

The quarterback room got a little more crowded in the off season. Hayden Wolff, who led ODU on that five-game winning streak, and D.J. Mack are back, and then there is Brendon Clark from Richmond who transferred to Old Dominion from Notre Dame.

“He brings competition,” Rahne said. Anytime you have competition it’s going to make everyone around you better.”

And when it comes to Old Dominion trying to leave Conference USA for the Sun Belt on July 1st of this year, Rahne’s staying out of the way.

“That’s why we have one of the best school presidents in the country and that’s why he have a terrific AD with a doctor’s degree and that’s we have lawyers that I’m sure enjoy the billable hours. Other than that, I’m not involved in any of that.”

ODU opens the season on September 2nd at home against Virginia Tech.