NORFOLK, Va - Temple University has a new head football coach, and it's not Old Dominion's Bobby Wilder.
Last week, Wilder was mentioned as a potential replacement for Matt Rhule at Temple, who left the Owls for the same position at Baylor. However, Temple has hired Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins as its new bench boss.
Now that Wilder will stay in Norfolk, ODU officials are finalizing a contract extension for the only head football coach in program history.
"I'm very confident in a very very short period of time, we'll have a new contract and an extension for Coach Wilder," Old Dominion Director of Athletics Dr. Wood Selig told News 3 Tuesday. "There were some nervous moments with Temple and that situation, but hopefully [Coach Wilder] will be here at ODU for a number of years."
News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler has learned Dr. Selig is expected to meet with University president John R. Broderick as early as Tuesday afternoon to finalize the details of Wilder's new deal.
"We submitted a contract offer to Coach Wilder and his agent (Dennis Cordell of Coaches, Inc.) Friday," Dr. Selig said. "We've been having discussions throughout the weekend and early this week. Our goal would be, at some point by the end of this week, to have it all resolved and wrapped-up."
Wilder, the 14th longest-tenured head coach in the FBS and the third longest in Conference USA, is 66-and-30 at ODU. He guided the Monarchs to a 9-and-3 record in 2016. Old Dominion will play in the program's first ever bowl game December 23rd: the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl vs. Eastern Michigan.
UPDATE (Thursday December 15):
In a text message, Wilder's agent confirms there's nothing to report in terms of the contract being finalized. He won't comment any further until the extension is completed.
UPDATE (Wednesday December 14):
Late Wednesday night to News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler, Wilder's agent confirmed his client has yet to sign ODU's contract.
There's speculation the holdup could be about dollar figures, either Wilder's salary or pay raises for the ODU assistant coaches. Winkler has been told staff members are not directly involved in those negotiations, and haven't even been informed of the dollar figures included in Old Dominion's offer to Wilder.
Citing a desire for "continuity", Selig said he hopes to keep Wilder's staff intact.
"We've been very generous with our assistant coaches," Selig told News 3. "Each of the last three years, we've increased the salary pool for Coach Wilder and his assistants $100,000 per season."
ODU's current assistant salary pool is roughly $1.1 million, a number that ranks among the top five or six programs in Conference USA.
"If we were to get to about $1.3 or $1.4 million, we'd be at the top of Conference USA," Selig said. "We'll continue to make every effort to increase the salaries so that we can remain market competitive for them as well."