April 7, 2002
Press Conference Video
Head Coach Jim Foster’s Opening Statement
Head Coach Jim Foster’s Q and A
COLUMBUS, Ohio–Jim Foster, a 24-year women’s basketball coaching veteran, was hired Saturday as the seventh women’s basketball coach at Ohio State, Andy Geiger, OSU director of athletics, announced Sunday.
“We are excited to have one of the finest coaches in the country join our Ohio State family,” Geiger said. “Having one of the premier teachers in the game, I am confident about the future of women’s basketball on our campus.”
Foster, who has guided 16 teams to NCAA tournament play, is looking forward to working in talent-rich Ohio as the head coach of the Buckeyes.
“Ohio State is one of the premier basketball jobs in the country,” Foster said. “The opportunity to work in a state that is rich with basketball tradition has always been a goal of mine. The combination of tradition and working at what is one of the great universities in the country is an opportunity I look forward to.”
In the last 24 seasons, Foster has won over 500 games at both St. Joseph’s (Pa.) and Vanderbilt, where his teams qualified for 10 NCAA tournaments, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen eight times.
“My 11 years at Vanderbilt have been nothing but rewarding,” Foster said. “The people, especially the players, have been significant factors in my life. I will miss them greatly.”
In addition to success on the court, Foster also is recognized for the efforts of his players in the classroom. Entering the 2001-02 season, all the players he recruited to both St. Joseph’s and Vanderbilt earned degrees. Coaching Record
In his 24 years overall, 22 of his teams have finished with winning records, nearly two-thirds have won at least 20 games in a season and 16 have reached the postseason. Overall, his teams have won almost 70 percent of their games.
At Vanderbilt his winning percentage was even higher (72.1 percent).
His impact upon the program was immediate. He took over the Commodores and promptly took them to the Top 10 for the first time ever (No. 7 in the USA Today/CNN Coaches poll) and their best postseason performance at that time, a spot in the quarterfinals.
By the start of the 1992-93 season, season-ticket sales for Vanderbilt games tripled, and the Commodores were a fixture in the chase for championships, in the conference as well as the nation.
Before Foster, Vanderbilt had never won more than half its SEC contests, under him the team has eight winning seasons in conference competition. Three times, 1993, ’95 and 2002, he led Vanderbilt to the SEC postseason championships. In 2001, he led his team to an SEC Tournament runnerup finish with no seniors on the team, including a victory over No. 1- ranked Tennessee in the semifinals.
In 1992-93 he guided the team to a record-setting 30-3 season that included the No. 1 ranking, the SEC Tournament title and, ultimately, a spot in the Final Four. That season also featured a history-making event at Vanderbilt: the first women’s basketball game ever at Vanderbilt that was an advance sellout, the Jan. 30, 1993, showdown between Vanderbilt and Tennessee, the top two teams in the poll.
At St. Joseph’s, he won nearly two-thirds of his games and led the team to seven postseason appearances — six NCAA, one AIAW.
From 1984 through 1990, his teams won at least 22 games and reached the NCAA Tournament every season.
Twice under Foster (1989-90) the Hawks won the Atlantic 10 championship. His 1989 St. Joseph’s team upset higher-ranked Vanderbilt 82-68 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Additionally, he has made a significant contribution to the coaching community, both in management and membership. In 1992 he became the first male to be chosen President of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
More than two dozen of Foster’s former players are now coaches at every level. Plus, a number of his former assistants have gone on to guide programs of their own, most notably Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame’s Muffett McGraw and Kansas State’s Deb Patterson and Kamie Ethridge.
Entering the 2001-02 season, every athlete Jim Foster has recruited in 23 years at two universities has earned a degree.
More than simply completing their education, however, many have distinguished themselves as students.
Foster’s Vanderbilt players collected a bevy of academic honors including four NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships in the last seven years. Other awards earned by the Commodores included: GTE CoSIDA Academic All-America, district and honorable mention Academic All-America, the SEC’s prestigious Bud McWhorter Award, Vanderbilt’s Academic Athlete of the Year and the leading number of SEC Academic Honor Roll citations.
In 1992, Vanderbilt set a conference record with nine players named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, and the following season the entire starting lineup from the 1993 Final Four team earned equal recognition.
At St. Joseph’s he coached one Academic All-American and two district All-Americans.
Foster has a long history of involvement with USA Basketball, the body that governs U.S. international squads.
His most recent endeavor was the 1997 World University Games at Marsala, Sicily, Italy. The United States had not won gold in that particular event since 1991, but under Foster the Americans were a perfect 6-0 and their average winning margin was 40 points. In the gold medal game they defeated Cuba 100-82. The closest contest was a 78-70 victory over Russia in the quarterfinals.
Twice previously USA Basketball tabbed Foster to head up one of its teams. In 1993 he led the USA Junior World Championship squad and in 1991 he guided the Junior National Team.
Plus, he was an assistant coach for gold-medal winning teams at the World Championship (1990), the Goodwill Games (1990), World Junior Championship (1989) and U.S. Olympic Festival (1987). He was also an assistant for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team that won bronze.
At Ohio State
Foster inherits a team that finished 14-15 in 2001-02. The Buckeyes lose two seniors, Tomeka Brown (9.8 ppg./3.4 rpg.) and Lauren Shenk (10.5 ppg., 1.9 rpg.). The squad returns 12 players from the 2001-02 roster, including its top two scorers and rebounders, juniors Courtney Coleman and D’wan Shackleford.
Coleman led the Buckeyes in scoring (16.4 ppg.) and rebounding (7.8) and was a 2002 Second Team All-Big Ten selection. Shackleford was second in both categories with 10.9 ppg. and 6.7 rpg.
The Buckeyes also return DiDi Reynolds, the squad’s third leading scorer (9.9 ppg.) and leading 3-point shooter (51-151/.338), and former Big Ten Freshman of the Year LaToya Turner. Both will be seniors next year.
Jim Foster Facts
Born: October 16, 1948
Family: Wife (Donna), Sons (Christian, Andrew)
Education: Temple, 1980
11 years at Vanderbilt (256-99)
13 years at St. Joseph’s (248-126)
Two years at Bishop McDevitt High School
Head coach, 1997 World University Games, gold medal
Head Coach, 1993 Junior National Team
Assistant Coach, 1992 Olympic Team, bronze medal
Head Coach, 1991 Junior National Team
1990 World Championship Team, gold medal
Assistant Coach, 1990 Goodwill Games, gold medal
Assistant Coach, 1989 World Junior Championships
Assistant Coach, 1987 Olympic Festival, gold medal
Noting Jim Foster
Every player Jim Foster has recruited at Vanderbilt and St.Joseph’s has earned her degree. Led Vanderbilt to a Final Fourappearance (1993). 1985 and 1993 National Coach of the Year.Southeastern Conference Tournament Champions (1993, 1995, 2002).Four NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship Award Winners. Led the 1997U.S. World University Games team to a gold medal. AffirmativeAction Award Winner. In 10 of his 11 seasons, the Vanderbilt won atleast 20 games and went at least as far as the Sweet 16 in eight ofthose 11 seasons. All but one of his squads have finished theseason ranked in the Top 25, including a No. 1 ranking in 1993.
Jim Foster’s Yearly Records Year University W L Postseason 1978-79 St. Joseph’s 16 9 AIAW 1979-80 St. Joseph’s 11 15 1980-81 St. Joseph’s 14 11 1981-82 St. Joseph’s 16 12 1982-83 St. Joseph’s 15 13 1983-84 St. Joseph’s 17 10 1984-85 St. Joseph’s 25 5 NCAA 1985-86 St. Joseph’s 22 7 NCAA 1986-87 St. Joseph’s 23 9 NCAA 1987-88 St. Joseph’s 24 8 NCAA 1988-89 St. Joseph’s 23 8 NCAA 1989-90 St. Joseph’s 24 7 NCAA 1990-91 St. Joseph’s 18 12 1991-92 Vanderbilt 22 9 Final 8 1992-93 Vanderbilt 30 3 Final 4 1993-94 Vanderbilt 25 8 Sweet 16 1994-95 Vanderbilt 28 7 Sweet 16 1995-96 Vanderbilt 23 8 Final 8 1996-97 Vanderbilt 20 11 Sweet 16 1997-98 Vanderbilt 20 9 NCAA 1998-99 Vanderbilt 13 14 1999-00 Vanderbilt 21 13 NCAA 2000-01 Vanderbilt 24 10 Final 8 2001-02 Vanderbilt 30 7 Final 8 OVERALL (24 years) 504 225 .691 Vanderbilt (11 years) 256 99 .721 St. Joseph’s (13 years)248 126 .685
Quotes from Jim Foster Hiring Announcement PressConference
Andy Geiger, Ohio State Director of Athletics
“Jim Foster has a distinguished career record at St. Joseph’s and at Vanderbilt University. Coach Foster is a teacher of the game and has an extraordinary passion for the game of basketball. He has had as disciples of his coaching working in the profession: Deb Patterson (Kansas State), Geno Auriemma (Connecticut) and Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame). He has numerous credentials in terms of his players and certainly his win-loss record. All of those things are nice and special but his personal qualities, devotion to teaching, caring for young people and love for the game are all important factors. He presents a family-oriented environment for his players. I know our team will work very hard and every individual will improve. This is a master coach and an outstanding teacher.”
“This university has the potential to win. I think there is only one team that can win the last game of the season and that’s the team that wins the national championship. That’s why I came here. You have to start with the Big Ten. You have to be able to compete at the level necessary to still be playing basketball in March.
On the decision to come to Ohio State
“You are presented with opportunities in life and you make decisions. I obviously had a comfort zone where I was. But in the back of my mind I always had an idea of the ultimate challenge. I think this (Ohio State) is a place that cares deeply about their athletics.
On team goals
“Everything we do is geared toward playing in March. Playing in March is what gets your adrenaline flowing, it’s what players are in the gym in July for, it’s what players rehab for. It’s to cut down nets and win championships.
“We are going to be the hardest working team in the country. We are going to share the basketball. We want this place to be a place that no one wants to walk into. We want to hang some banners and we want to win.
On recruiting in Ohio
“I think the ideal situation is when people go to bed at night and dream of being a Buckeye. I haven’t been at a place like that. There are very good basketball players in the state of Ohio. Those are the players we want. We want to get ones who can help us win.