Old Dominion Athletic Conference Celebrates 40 Years

Old Dominion Athletic Conference Celebrates 40 Years

This release is courtesy of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

FOREST, Va. --- The conclusion of the 2015-16 athletic seasons etched 40 years of competition in the ODAC into the history books.  In celebration of the accomplishments of conference member teams, coaches, and athletes, the ODAC will feature key milestones throughout the first 40 years of the conference. Each school has submitted a selection of top events, moments, tenures, and performances. The features developed by the ODAC will take several forms -- some audio interviews (like this first one), others with video content, photo albums, and other pertinent items. All current 14 full-time member institutions will be featured throughout the season.

In the first installment of a new year-long feature from the ODAC, we go back to where it all began. The conference has had only two commissioners in its 40 years of competition and Dan Wooldridge remains involved in a number of ways. He got the ball rolling for the league when the ODAC officially opened its doors in the 1976-77 campaign, and played a major role in what has become 79 NCAA championships hosted in Salem, Va.

Dan Wooldridge is one of only two individuals to serve as commissioner of the ODAC, with the other being current conference leader, Brad Bankston.  Wooldridge has long been a supporter of NCAA Division III athletics.  He remains a prominent figure with the NCAA championships hosted in Salem, continuing to work with the officials for the football and men's basketball championshps.  He is also an active member with the Salem Rotary Club, which maintains a 30-plus year sponsorship of the ODAC men's and women's basketball tournaments.

In the interview, Wooldridge explains how the conference was formed and some of the early movement of its member schools. He touches on some stories surrounding the league, as well as those associated with bringing the first NCAA Division III championship to Salem.  Bankston and J.J. Nekoloff, the ODAC's associate commissioner, not only briefly reflect on their experiences in the ODAC, but also breakdown how the ODAC 40 features will develop throughout the season.

To hear the interview with Wooldridge, click here.