Everyone knows the slow, sinking feeling of an employee evaluation that doesn't go so well.
That's not how Bobby Wilder felt on Wednesday.
Wilder, who guided Old Dominion to a 9-2 record in its first season of FCS football, was rewarded with a two-year contract extension through 2014 and a $50,000 annual raise. Wilder signed a six-year deal when he became the Monarchs' head coach in February 2007.
Wilder's base salary increased from $150,000 to $200,000, and his new contract also includes incentive clauses and an increase in his $25,000 bonus for television and radio appearances.
"This extension of the contact is a sign that anybody likes to feel from their boss that tells you, as an employee, you're doing a good job and we want you to keep it up," Wilder said.
The Monarchs' nine wins were the most ever by an FCS startup program, and ODU produced a first-team Associated Press All-American in punter Jonathan Plisco.
"Bobby's leadership skills on and off the field, his coaching success and his connection to our fans and community are to be commended, and the extension helps ensure the success of our program for many years to come," ODU athletic director Jim Jarrett said in a release.
Wilder, whose team begins Colonial Athletic Association play in 2011, now has a salary on par with fellow CAA coaches. James Madison football coach Mickey Matthews made $220,000 in base salary last year, while William and Mary's Jimmye Laycock made $179,400, according to the Collegiate Times Public Universities salaries database.
Wilder said he didn't feel underpaid before the extension.
"I felt like I've been treated very fairly since I've been here," he said.
Wilder said the most important thing about the extension is "the message that it sends from Old Dominion University to our football program and our coaching staff that they're pleased with the direction our program is going in," and he won't hesitate to broadcast that message to recruits.
"This is something that comes up in conversation when you're recruiting student-athletes, usually from the parents," Wilder said. "They want to know if you're going to be part of that program."
Wilder said talk of an extension began last summer and intensified after the 2009 season.
"That was more because I was getting to the point where I was almost halfway through the contract," he said. "You're always concerned about what's the perception, particularly of your own team and with your own coaches, and then with recruits. What will they think as you start to get to the back half of your contract?
" I got the sense from when we first started talking about that it was going to get done, and I haven't been concerned at all about the time frame."
Wilder didn't have big plans to celebrate his extension - "I have a team workout at 4, my son's basketball game at 5, and a speaking engagement from 7 to 10 tonight," he said but did briefly reflect on what it meant to him.
"I feel great. I'm very grateful," he said. "I'm humbled by what has happened since we started this program. There's days when I sit here and look back and just think wow, we've come a long way from when we were trying to find some pens and some pencils and some chairs we could sit in. I'm just really grateful to the folks here at Old Dominion for what has happened.".Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun