Legendary Coach Bud Metheny Dies

Arthur “Bud” Metheny, who served Old Dominion 32 years as head baseball coach, head basketball coach and athletic director, died Jan. 2 after a long illness. He was 87. His wife of 61 years, Frances, died only hours earlier at age 82.

Metheny joined the athletic staff in 1948 as head baseball coach, compiling a 423-363-6 record before retiring in 1980. He was honored by the NCAA as the Eastern Regional Coach of the Year in 1963 and 1964, a period when his Monarchs captured college division crowns.

He was named National Coach of the Year in 1964, and in 1980, his final season as the Monarchs head coach, ODU captured the Virginia State Championship.

Metheny served as head basketball coach from 1948-65, compiling a 198-163 record and posting 16 winning seasons. His 198 wins are still the most among men’s basketball coaches at Old Dominion. He also served as athletic director from 1963-1970.

“Bud Metheny was a legend at Old Dominion University,” said current athletic director Jim Jarrett. “His years of service to our university provided great leadership and support for the student-athletes he coached. He was admired and respected by fellow coaches, players and faculty, who also valued his friendship.

“Bud’s devotion to the Monarch athletic program never waned, even into his retirement years. His impact on our program will be felt for generations to come.”

Maury High School basketball coach Jack Baker ’73, who played baseball for Metheny in the 1970s, said in a Jan. 4 Virginian-Pilot story, “When you thought of ODU, you thought of Bud.”

Metheny came to Old Dominion after a career with the New York Yankees organization from 1938-47. He played for the Yankees in the second and last games of the 1943 World Series as the Yankees defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1984, to honor Metheny and his days with the Yankees, ODU adopted the Yankee uniform look of the distinctive blue pinstripes.

“As a whole, my four years with New York were very pleasant,” Metheny said in a 1975 interview, adding that he was fortunate to play with such great players as DiMaggio, Williams and Dickey.

In the minors before joining the Yankees, Metheny won pennants with Norfolk and Kansas City, as well as the so-called “Little World Series” with Newark.

Metheny was enshrined in the College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in Dallas in 1983. He is a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, William and Mary Hall of Fame and Tidewater Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I felt that coming here to the college that I could do the same work and have a more stable situation, and also I’d be dealing with young people,” Metheny said about his decision to leave
pro ball.

The Old Dominion baseball stadium, which opened in 1983, is named in Metheny’s honor.