NORFOLK, Va. — Maine native Bobby Wilder has resigned as Old Dominion’s football coach after 13 seasons.
Athletic director Wood Selig made the announcement Monday.
Wilder, a native of Madison who served for many years as an assistant coach at the University of Maine, was hired in 2007 when Old Dominion decided to restart its football program. He signed his first recruiting class in 2008 and the Monarchs played their first games in 2009.
Wilder’s teams compiled a 77-56 overall record, including a 10-3 mark in 2016 when ODU won the Bahamas Bowl.
“Coach Wilder has dedicated the last 13 years of his professional career in the pursuit of excellence for ODU football,” Selig said.
“I am extremely grateful to Bobby Wilder, our assistant coaches, our student athletes and our football support staff. Collectively they have given everything of themselves. They have represented ODU with class and dignity.”
Success has been fleeting the last three seasons as the Monarchs compiled a 10-26 record, including a program-worst 1-11 record this season. The decline comes at a time when ODU invested $67.5 million to build a new S.B. Ballard Stadium.
“I have resigned as head coach of the ODU football program as I feel it’s in the best interest for this program going forward,” Wilder said. “I have poured my heart and soul into this university and our football program, but I feel this is the best decision for Old Dominion University.”
Selig says the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation will cover the $600,000 buyout Wilder is due.
A national search for a new coach will begin immediately.
Wilder’s staff at ODU also includes three assistant coaches with UMaine ties. Jeff Comissiong is the assistant head coach and defensive line coach, Waterville native Brian Scott is the associate head coach and offensive coordinator, and Ron Whitcomb is the assistant head coach for offense and quarterbacks coach.
Wilder, is a 1987 graduate of UMaine, where he helped lead the Black Bears to a Yankee Conference championship as a senior. The 1982 Madison High School graduate ranks ninth on UMaine’s all-time career passing list with 4,493 yards.
He was a member of coach Jack Cosgrove’s staff for 17 seasons, including a stint as the associate head coach from 2001-2006.
Scott, a former Waterville High quarterback and Cony High head coach, played four years of football at UMaine, starting at quarterback in 1999.
Whitcomb left Orono as the program’s all-time leader in completions (755), total offense (8,801 yards) and touchdown passes (68).
Comissiong, a former UMaine linebacker, coached the Black Bears’ defensive ends for three seasons and also spent time on the staff at Boston College and at Bates College in Lewiston.