ODU returns to Norfolk as Bahamas Bowl champs, look ahead to next year

NORFOLK (WAVY) — The Old Dominion football team returned home late Saturday night after the Monarchs Bahamas Bowl win over Eastern Michigan.

It was a storybook season for an ODU team that was given little respect before the season began. The Monarchs were picked to finish in sixth place in the Conference USA East Division by media members and coaches. ODU defied the odds, finishing tied for first place with Western Kentucky and its first 10-win season since moving up to the FBS.

Coach Bobby Wilder now turns his attention to next year, and the challenge of keeping his coaching staff intact.

“I hope that this momentum will continue and that I can keep this staff and this team together,” Wilder said. “When you have success there comes opportunities for other people. I’ve been challenged in previous years to try to be able to keep assistant coaches. This is the best staff I’ve ever had, these assistant coaches are really good and guys are going to get interviews and it’s going to be hard to hold on to them. Everyone wants to play so it’s hard to hold on to all the players, but if we can hold this thing together we could do some special things.”