Old Dominion Monarchs

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Old Dominion Monarchs
UniversityOld Dominion University
ConferenceSun Belt (primary)
MAISA (sailing)
American (women's rowing)
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorCamden Wood Selig
LocationNorfolk, Virginia
Varsity teams18
Football stadiumS.B. Ballard Stadium
Basketball arenaChartway Arena
Baseball stadiumBud Metheny Baseball Complex
Soccer stadiumOld Dominion Soccer Complex
Aquatics centerJ.C. Scrap Chandler Natatorium
Lacrosse fieldL.R. Hill Sports Complex
Golf courseLambert's Point Golf Course
Rowing venueODU Rowing Center
Sailing venueODU Sailing Center
Tennis venueFolkes-Stevens Tennis Center
Volleyball arenaODU Volleyball Center
MascotBig Blue
Fight songFight, Old Dominion![1]
ColorsSlate blue, silver, and light blue[2]
Sun Belt Conference logo in ODU's colors

The Old Dominion Monarchs are composed of 18 intercollegiate athletic teams representing Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, Virginia. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, sailing, soccer, swimming, and tennis. Women's sports include basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, golf, sailing, soccer, swimming, tennis, rowing, and volleyball. The Monarchs compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and are members of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC); the university joined the conference on July 1, 2022.[3]

In 2017, the university announced it would add Women's Volleyball as a scholarship sport, slated to compete beginning in 2020.[4] The university discontinued wrestling in April 2020 after a study on the athletic department's sport sponsorship, combined with added financial pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.[5]

Sports sponsored[edit]

Men's sports Women's sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Field hockey
Football Lacrosse
Golf Golf
Sailing Sailing
Soccer Soccer
Swimming Swimming
Tennis Tennis

Men's basketball[edit]

The Old Dominion University Monarchs men's basketball team have captured six CAA championship titles (1992, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2010, and 2011) since their conference admission in 1992, which is the most among all CAA schools. The Monarchs received an at-large bid to the 2007 NCAA tournament when the team went 24–8 and finished 37th in RPI. That season included a notable 13-point win at eighth ranked Georgetown. They received an automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA tournament after capturing the 2010 CAA title. During the tournament, the 11th seeded Monarchs managed a 1-point first-round upset over the sixth seeded Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

In 2002, ODU opened the Ted Constant Convocation Center (now Chartway Arena) for the 2002–2003 basketball season. "The Ted" seats 8,639 for basketball games with 7,319 fully cushioned seats, 862 upper club seats, and 16 suites.[6] In addition to home basketball games, the arena hosts family-oriented events, concerts, lectures, and commencement ceremonies.

Women's basketball[edit]

Old Dominion awarded the first athletic varsity scholarship to a female in the state of Virginia to Nancy Lieberman for Monarchs women's basketball.

The Old Dominion Lady Monarchs basketball team has won three national championships. In 1979 and 1980, the Lady Monarchs were AIAW Champions. In 1985, they won the NCAA Division I National Championship after defeating the Georgia Lady Bulldogs 70–65. In addition, the Lady Monarchs won five Sun Belt conference championship titles (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1990) and 17 CAA championship titles (1992–2008).

Field hockey[edit]

The ODU Monarchs field hockey team is second to the North Carolina Tar Heels for being the winningest NCAA college field hockey program with nine national titles. Overall, the team has won 17 regular season conference titles and 15 conference tournament titles with eight straight CAA regular season and tournament titles from 1996 to 2003.[7] From 1990 to 1993, the Monarchs won 66 straight games including three national titles. As of 2013, 50 different Monarchs have been named All-Americans.

  • National Championships – 1982–1984, 1988, 1990–1992, 1998, 2000
  • Conference tournament Championships – CAA: 1991–1994, 1996–2003, 2005, 2009–2011
  • Conference Championships – CAA: 1991–1993, 1996–2003, 2005–2007, 2011, 2012; Big East: 2013
  • NCAA Tournaments – 1981–2003, 2005–2007, 2010–2013


The history of football at ODU began with the Norfolk Division, which had a football team until 1941 known as the Norfolk Division Braves. The program dissolved due to a rule against freshman players and a $10,000 debt.[8]

On June 14, 2005, its Board of Visitors approved by a 14–0 vote the creation of an NCAA Division I team, which began play on September 5, 2009.

On February 9, 2007, ODU's Athletic Director Jim Jarrett announced that Bobby Wilder, the associate head football coach at the University of Maine, would be the head football coach at Old Dominion University. The team signed its first class in 2008. As is the case with many new football programs, all players on the 2008 Monarchs football team were redshirted, and when added with the 2009 signing class and transfers from I-A schools, formed the nucleus of the school's first football team. Initially, ODU competed as an FCS program (formerly I-AA), and was independent for two years before joining the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2011 season.

The final record for Old Dominion's 2009 football program was 9–2, at the time the best winning record ever for a first-year collegiate football program. This record is now held by Mercer University who finished 10–2 in 2013.[9] Old Dominion's football program had continued success in 2010 finishing 8–3. In the following years, Old Dominion's football program finished their 2011–2012 season with a 10–3 record, and an 11–2 record for their 2012–2013 season which gained national attention. As the school's football program began to grow along with the university itself, Old Dominion's potential was realized by several commissioners for college football, particularly by Conference USA. Old Dominion officially joined Conference USA (C-USA) on July 1, 2013, leaving behind their former conference affiliation with the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).[10] They won their first C-USA game against Rice on September 20, 2014.[11]

Foreman Field (now S.B. Ballard Stadium) was formerly the field hockey and women's lacrosse teams' home venue before renovating to accommodate the new football program in 2009. Field Hockey and women's lacrosse teams were relocated to L.R. Hill Sports Complex.

As of the 2015 season, Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium sold out 48 consecutive home games.


The ODU Rowing Club (ODURC) has been under the Recreational Sports department since 1985. The club is fully student-run and is funded largely by the student members of the club. The men's rowing club won the ACRA national championship in May 2008.[12] In 2008, rowing also became a varsity sport for female students, and a full-time coach was hired for the new women's team. Within their first year at varsity level, the women's team placed at a national competition. The decision to elevate only the women's team to varsity status was made to keep ODU compliant with Title IX regulations, providing balance to the increased spending on men's athletics that a football program brought.[13]

Conference affiliation[edit]

Current conference Sports affiliated
Sun Belt Conference Men's and Women's Basketball
Men's and Women's Golf
Men's and Women's Soccer
Women's Swimming and Diving
Men's and Women's Tennis
Women's Volleyball
American Athletic Conference Rowing
Women's Lacrosse
ASUN Conference Men's Swimming
Big East Conference Field Hockey
Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Sailing

Post-CAA realignment history[edit]

The football team played their 2013 season as an independent as part of the transition to FBS. Following, ODU competed as a full football-playing member of C-USA from 2014 to 2021-22 school year before joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2022.

Old Dominion's field hockey team competes in the Big East Conference. The field hockey program had previously announced that it would join the original Big East for the 2013–14 school year. However, following the split of the original Big East, the two successor conferences, the new Big East and the American Athletic Conference, agreed that The American would not sponsor field hockey and the new Big East would take in all of The American's programs in those sports as associate members. The women's lacrosse team spent their 2013–14 season as an independent before joining the Atlantic Sun Conference as an associate member effective July 1, 2014. Old Dominion women's lacrosse team joined the American Athletic Conference in 2020.

In 2014, the women's rowing team became an associate member of the Big 12 Conference, which effectively took over sponsorship of that sport from C-USA.[14] Later, the university announced that the rowing team would change its conference affiliation and compete in the American Athletic Conference beginning in the 2018–19 school year.[15]

Following the move to Conference USA, the men's swimming and diving team competed for two years as an independent, as C-USA did not sponsor the sport. On July 16, 2015, the team announced it would join the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association, later renamed the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, beginning with the 2015–16 season.[16]

Non-varsity sports[edit]

Cheerleading (co-ed)[edit]

Led by head coach Carmen Harris, the Old Dominion University cheer squad performs at all football home games and men and women's basketball home games. The ODU cheer team began competing at the NCA College Nationals in Daytona, FL in 2016. They placed first in the Division 1A Intermediate All-Girl Division in 2017.[17]

Discontinued sports[edit]


Old Dominion Monarchs wrestling was established in 1957. The school's departure from the CAA forced the wrestling team to become an associate member of the Mid-American Conference, as Conference USA does not sponsor wrestling. It also was a catalyst that caused the CAA to stop sponsoring the sport. Practices took place at the Wrestling Facility and dual meets and tournaments were held at the Chartway Arena located on campus.[18] Old Dominion's most recent head wrestling coach was Steve Martin, who served for ten seasons with the program.[19]

Former Monarch wrestlers who went on to compete in mixed martial arts include Brandon Vera (formerly UFC) and Shanon Slack (Bellator).

On April 2, 2020, Old Dominion Athletics Director Camden Wood Selig announced that the wrestling program would be cut "immediately" based on the conclusion of a six-month study by outside consultant Richard Sander, staff member of East Tennessee State Athletics Department. According to the study, discontinuing varsity wrestling at Old Dominion would save the department $1 million and help offset recent budget cutbacks due to declining enrollment at the university.[20]


  • 1994 ACC Champion
  • 3 Individual NCAA Championship Titles: Carl Ragland (152 lbs) in 1969, Wayne Bright (142 1bs) in 1970, Terry Perdew (118 lbs) in 1974
  • 21 NCAA All-Americans
  • Coaches Association National Academic 1st team selections: James Nicholson 2009,10 & 11, Kyle Hutter 2009 & 2011, Ryan Williams 2008 & 2009, and Tristan Warner 2012.[21]


James Madison[edit]

On October 26, the Old Dominion Monarchs and in-state rival James Madison Dukes announced the official beginning of the "Royal Rivalry".[22] As the Virginia-based schools within the Sun Belt Conference, they will compete for an all-sports trophy that contains a football component and draws its name from the royal inspiration of both schools' mascots.

Norfolk State[edit]

Along with the Monarchs, the Norfolk State Spartans are the only NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports teams that are based in Norfolk, Virginia.


The VCU Rams are primarily ODU's rival in men's and women's basketball as both schools competed in the CAA and were once part of the College of William & Mary.[23]

William & Mary[edit]

Old Dominion played as a division of the William & Mary Tribe before gaining independence in 1962. Following, both schools competed in the CAA.

The Old Dominion Athletic Foundation[edit]

The Old Dominion Athletic Foundation (ODAF) is the official booster club for Old Dominion Athletics. the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation was previously known as the Big Blue Club, or The Old Dominion University Intercollegiate Foundation. The change from those to ODAF occurred March 1, 2011. The Old Dominion Athletic Foundation has a 501-C-3 designation as a non-profit organization.[24]


  1. ^ "Student Engagements & Traditions". ODU.edu. June 23, 2022. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  2. ^ Old Dominion University Athletic Department Branding Guidelines (PDF). July 8, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  3. ^ "Old Dominion Officially Joins the Sun Belt Conference". ODUSports.com. July 1, 2022. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  4. ^ "ODU Announces Women's Volleyball Will Begin Play in 2020". Old Dominion University. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  5. ^ Parsons, Brian (April 3, 2020). "Old Dominion eliminates wrestling program effective immediately". WAVY TV 10. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  6. ^ Arena, Chartway. "About Us | Chartway Arena". www.chartwayarena.com. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 9, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Special Section-75 Great Moments in ODU History". Odu.edu. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  9. ^ "Mercer Football Has Winningest Debut Season In NCAA Division I History". Gpb.org. November 25, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Fairbank, Dave. "ODU Makes Calculated Leap to Conference USA." Dailypress.com. Newport News Va., Daily Press, May 17, 2012. Web. July 18, 2013.
  11. ^ Barnett, Zach (September 21, 2014). "Old Dominion, North Texas made Conference USA history on Saturday". College Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  12. ^ "ODU Rowing Club Team Captures National Championship". Old Dominion University. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  13. ^ "Odu Rowing Club Team Captures National Championship". Odu.edu. June 4, 2008. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  14. ^ "Big 12 Invites Affiliates to Rowing Championship" (Press release). Big 12 Conference. January 31, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "American Athletic Conference Adds Old Dominion as an Affiliate Member in Women's Rowing". TheAmerican.org (Press release). June 20, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  16. ^ "ODU Men's Swimming to Join the CCSA" (Press release). Old Dominion Monarchs and Lady Monarchs. July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  17. ^ "Old Dominion Official Athletic Site - Traditions". Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  18. ^ "ODU Wrestling Information Facts". Old Dominion University Athletics.
  19. ^ "ODU Athletics: Wrestling Team" (PDF). Old Dominion University Athletics. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  20. ^ "Old Dominion cuts wrestling, citing financial impact of coronavirus". ESPN. April 3, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  21. ^ "ODU Wrestling Stats" (PDF). Old Dominion University Athletics. 2007–2008. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  22. ^ "'Royal Rivalry': ODU and JMU create new challenge — with trophy on the line". October 26, 2022.
  23. ^ Jan 21. "VCU/ODU: The Rivalry Is Just Different…". Caahoops.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ "Old Dominion University Monarchs - Boosters - Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on December 6, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2008.

External links[edit]