A lengthy contract negotiation process between Old Dominion and the Monarchs’ head coach Bobby Wilder appears to have resolved in an agreeable contract for both parties. As reported by the Virginian Pilot, Wilder’s base salary will increase while his assistant coaches will also see a boost in compensation.
Wilder and ODU agreed to terms on a new five-year contract in mid-December, but the deal fell apart when Wilder and ODU could not come to terms over job security for his assistant coaches.
Wilder wanted several assistants to have two-year contracts and receive significant pay increases. A compromise has been reached on that issue, but full details aren't known.
In December, sources indicated that Wilder would receive about $660,000 per year, a $100,000 raise over the $554,900 he received in 2016. At the time, Wilder was ranked 11th out of 14 Conference USA coaches in total compensation.
Wilder has been ODU’s lone head coach throughout the resurrection of their football program. After spending 10 years building the Monarchs’ program from scratch, Wilder guided ODU to their first ever bowl appearance in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. The Monarchs have amassed a 67-30 (.691) record with Wilder at the helm and appear poised to continue their success in the following seasons.
As you may remember, Wilder made headlines in December after his name was linked to the head coaching position at Temple before the Owls hired Geoff Collins. While Wilder turned the job down, the Owls’ interest showed that other programs are beginning to take note of the work that Wilder is doing at Old Dominion.
By all measures, this is a great deal for both parties and for Conference USA as a whole. As the American Athletic Conference has shown us over the past few years, recruiting and retaining elite coaching talent is the most direct path for success at the Group of Five level. C-USA has started to separate themselves from their G5 peers by building a strong roster of head coaching talent. Contract extensions like these ensure that the programs will be able to retain their staffs as well as guarantee a substantial financial windfall through buyout clauses if the staff were to leave for another program. With a renovated Foreman field on the way, Wilder will have plenty of resources at ODU to continue building his program to reach new heights.