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Old Dominion Monarchs

The Old Dominion Monarchs football team represents Old Dominion University in NCAA Division I FBS college football competition.

Team History

The Old Dominion Monarchs football team represents a significant chapter in the history of college athletics, with its origins tracing back to the early 20th century. Initially competing as the William & Mary Norfolk Division Braves, the team showcased modest beginnings, laying down the groundwork for what would become a storied football program. The Monarchs’ journey through the decades has seen various phases of competition, including early successes, periods of dormancy, and a notable revival in the 21st century that redefined the team’s place in college football. This revival not only re-energized the fan base but also marked the beginning of a new era that saw the team rapidly ascend through the ranks of college football, demonstrating remarkable growth and ambition.

Following their re-establishment in 2009, the Old Dominion Monarchs quickly emerged as a formidable force within the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), displaying a competitive edge that garnered both regional and national attention. Their swift success was highlighted by significant victories, remarkable attendance figures that underscored the community’s support, and a transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), which elevated the program’s profile and competitiveness on a national scale. This period of transformation was marked by strategic moves, including conference changes and facility upgrades, which reflected the program’s ambition to compete at the highest levels of college football and establish a legacy that honors its rich history.

Foundation and Early Years

The foundation of the Old Dominion football program in 1930 under coach Tommy Scott marked the beginning of a journey that would see various highs and lows over the years. The team’s early years were characterized by a strong community following and competitive spirit, laying the groundwork for what would become a cherished institution within the university and the local community. Despite facing challenges, including a hiatus in football operations, the spirit of the Monarchs remained a beacon of potential for resurgence, which would eventually come to fruition decades later.

The revival of the football program in 2009 was a pivotal moment in Old Dominion’s sports history, rekindling the passion and support of Monarchs football among students, alumni, and local fans. This resurgence was met with immediate success, both on the field and in the stands, as the team quickly established itself as a powerhouse in the FCS, achieving impressive win records and making significant playoff runs. The early years following the revival were marked by sell-out games, a testament to the community’s embrace of Monarchs football, and set the stage for the team’s ambitious ascent into the FBS, showcasing the program’s potential for greatness.

Notable Early Achievements

The Old Dominion Monarchs football team’s early achievements following their 2009 revival quickly put them on the map as a program to watch. Their notable successes in the FCS, including playoff appearances and top 25 rankings, underscored the team’s rapid development and competitive spirit. These accomplishments not only showcased the team’s on-field talent but also the strategic vision behind the program’s resurgence, which aimed to establish Old Dominion as a respected force in college football.

One of the most significant milestones in the program’s history came with its transition to the FBS, which was marked by immediate impact games and the forging of new rivalries. This move to a higher level of competition was a testament to the program’s ambition and the university’s commitment to its athletic department. The Monarchs’ ability to compete against more established programs and secure bowl game appearances further highlighted the remarkable progress made in a relatively short period, setting a new standard for success and laying the foundation for future achievements.

Periods of Change

The Old Dominion Monarchs football program has undergone several periods of significant change, most notably their transitions between conferences and classifications within the NCAA. The move from the FCS to the FBS and from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) to Conference USA (C-USA), and eventually to the Sun Belt Conference, reflects the program’s growth and the strategic decisions made to enhance its competitive standing. These changes were not just administrative but represented a shift in the program’s aspirations, aiming to compete on a larger stage and against more formidable opponents. Such transitions have come with their challenges, including adapting to higher levels of competition and navigating the complexities of conference affiliations, but they have also opened new opportunities for growth and success.

These periods of change have been pivotal in shaping the program’s identity and trajectory. The decision to move to the FBS, for example, was a bold step that showcased the university’s commitment to its football program and its belief in the potential for greater achievements. Similarly, the transition to the Sun Belt Conference marked a new chapter in the program’s history, promising fresh rivalries and opportunities to make an impact on a different stage. Through these transitions, Old Dominion has sought to position itself as a competitive program capable of attracting talent and achieving success on and off the field.

Championships and Achievements

Sinceits revival, the Old Dominion Monarchs have not only participated in notable bowl games but also marked their presence with significant victories that have contributed to the program’s prestige. Their first bowl game win in the 2016 Bahamas Bowl was a landmark achievement, showcasing the team’s ability to compete and succeed at the FBS level. This victory was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the players, coaching staff, and everyone associated with the Monarchs football program. Additionally, their participation in the Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2021, despite a loss, further demonstrated the team’s competitive spirit and the program’s upward trajectory in college football.

These championships and achievements are not just markers of success on the field; they represent significant milestones in the program’s development and its growing reputation in the collegiate football landscape. Such successes have not only galvanized the fan base but also helped in recruiting talented players who want to be part of a rising and ambitious program. The Monarchs’ ability to secure a division title, even as co-champions, in the competitive landscape of C-USA, before transitioning to the Sun Belt Conference, underscores the program’s resilience and commitment to excellence. Each achievement, whether a bowl game victory or a conference accolade, contributes to the rich tapestry of Old Dominion football, building a legacy that honors the past while looking forward to future successes.

Current Roster

The current roster of the Old Dominion Monarchs football team is a testament to the program’s ability to attract and develop talent across various positions. Comprising a diverse group of athletes, the roster reflects the coaching staff’s commitment to building a competitive and well-rounded team capable of challenging the best in college football. Each player brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the team, contributing to a dynamic and versatile squad that is prepared to tackle the challenges of a demanding schedule. The roster is regularly updated to reflect new recruits and changes, showcasing the depth and talent available to the coaching staff as they strategize for the season ahead.

The significance of the current roster extends beyond the field; it represents the future of Old Dominion football. With each season, new players emerge as leaders, leaving their mark on the program and inspiring the next generation of Monarchs. The development of these athletes, both on and off the field, is a priority for the coaching staff, who are dedicated to ensuring that players reach their full potential. As the Monarchs continue to compete at a high level, the roster will evolve, but the goal remains the same: to build a team that embodies the spirit of Old Dominion football and strives for excellence in every game.

Management and Coaching Staff

The management and coaching staff of the Old Dominion Monarchs play a crucial role in the program’s success. Led by Head Coach Ricky Rahne since 2020, the coaching team brings a wealth of experience and a strategic approach to the development of the football program. Rahne’s leadership, alongside his coaching staff, has been instrumental in navigating the challenges faced by the team, including the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The staff’s dedication to player development, game preparation, and recruitment has laid the foundation for a competitive and resilient program that can adapt and thrive in the ever-changing landscape of college football.

The coaching staff’s impact extends beyond tactics and game-day decisions; they are deeply involved in the holistic development of their players, emphasizing academic success, personal growth, and community engagement. This comprehensive approach to coaching ensures that Monarchs’ players are not only prepared for success on the field but are also equipped with the skills and values needed to succeed in life beyond college football. As the Old Dominion Monarchs continue to evolve and compete at higher levels, the management and coaching staff remain committed to fostering a culture of excellence, integrity, and teamwork

Home Stadium Information

S.B. Ballard Stadium, the home of the Old Dominion Monarchs football team, stands as a symbol of the program’s history and ambition. Originally known as Foreman Field, the stadium has undergone significant renovations to meet the demands of a growing football program and its supporters. These enhancements have not only improved the facility’s capacity and amenities but have also created an electrifying atmosphere for home games, making it a formidable venue for visiting teams. The stadium’s transformation reflects the university’s commitment to its athletic programs and the role that football plays in bringing together the community.

The importance of S.B. Ballard Stadium extends beyond its role as a venue for football games; it is a gathering place for students, alumni, and fans to celebrate the spirit and tradition of Old Dominion football. The stadium’s design and features enhance the game-day experience, fostering a sense of pride and belonging among the Monarch community. As the program continues to grow, S.B. Ballard Stadium will remain at the heart of Old Dominion football, embodying the team’s resilience, history, and aspirations for the future. The Old Dominion Monarchs football team’s history and progression reflect a journey of resilience, strategic growth, and community support. From its initial years under coach Tommy Scott, where the foundation for passion and competitiveness was laid, to the rebirth of the program in 2009, Old Dominion has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for growth and achievement. The early success following the program’s revival, marked by sell-out games and impressive on-field performances, has been pivotal in re-establishing the Monarchs as a formidable force in college football.

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