Jim Foster
Foster in 2015
Biographical details
Born (1948-10-16) October 16, 1948 (age 75)
Abington, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materTemple
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1978–1991Saint Joseph's
2002–2013Ohio State
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2005–2007, 2009)
USA Basketball Developmental Coach Of The Year (2003)
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Medal record
Coach for Women's Basketball
 United States (head coach)
World University Games
Gold medal – first place 1997 Marsala Team
 United States (assistant coach)
Goodwill Games
Gold medal – first place 1990 Seattle Team
World Championship
Gold medal – first place 1990 Malaysia Team

Jim Foster (born October 16, 1948) is a former American basketball coach who served as the head coach of the women's college basketball team at Chattanooga from 2013 to 2018. He has previously served as a head coach of the women's basketball team at St. Joseph's, Vanderbilt and Ohio State. He has been elected to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2013.[1] On February 1, 2018, Foster notched his 900th career win as a head coach, becoming the eighth fastest to reach that mark and tying for seventh in all-time career wins.[2] He announced his retirement in May 2018, after 40 years on the bench.[3]

Early years

Foster was born October 16, 1948[4] in Abington, Pennsylvania.[5] He grew up in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, and attended Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[5] He joined the Army in 1966, and served until 1969, with half of that time spent in Vietnam. While he was serving, his brother, John was drafted. Although Jim's tour was scheduled to end, he agreed to serve an additional tour in Vietnam so his brother would not have to serve in a war zone.[6] After completing his tours, Foster attended Temple University, graduating in 1980.[7]

Coaching career

Foster began his coaching career at Bishop McDevitt High School in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, where he served as the boys basketball assistant coach and the girls basketball head coach.[5]

Saint Joseph's University

Foster began his college head coaching career as the head coach at St. Joseph's in 1978. He remained as head coach for 13 seasons, compiling a record of 248–126.[8] In 1985, the Hawks won seven of their eight Atlantic Ten games to win the conference title. They won 25 games during the season to earn their first ever bid to an NCAA tournament. This bid would be the first of six consecutive bids to the NCAA Tournament.[9]


Foster accepted a position as head coach of the women's basketball team at Vanderbilt in 1991. He remained there for eleven seasons, compiling a record of 256–99.[10] He made the Elite Eight five times during his tenure with the Commodores, including a trip to the 1993 Final Four. To date this remains the only Final Four appearance by a Vanderbilt basketball team.

While at Vanderbilt, Foster served a one-year term as President of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.[11]

Ohio State

Foster became the head coach of the women's basketball team at Ohio State in 2002. He served in that position for eleven years, with a record of 279–82.[10] While at Ohio State, the Big Ten selected Foster as the women's basketball coach of the year three consecutive years, 2005–2007 and again in 2009.[12] Foster was fired by Ohio State at the end of the 2012–2013 season after his team did not make the NCAA tournament.[13] Kevin McGuff was hired as his replacement.

Ohio State played Notre Dame in the first-ever women's basketball game played on an aircraft carrier. The game was played on the USS Yorktown, now a National Historic Landmark in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The Yorktown served in Vietnam while Foster was serving in Vietnam. Notre Dame won the game, 57–51.[14][15]


On May 9, 2013, Chattanooga announced the hiring of Foster to become the new head coach of the women's basketball team.[8] In April 2016, Chattanooga announced that Foster's contract had been extended through the 2021–22 season, although he decided to retire in May 2018.[16][3]

USA basketball

Foster served as assistant coach or head coach of USA Basketball teams on nine occasions, and served (2013–16) as the chair of the Women's Junior National Team Committee.[17]

In 1987, he was the assistant coach of the gold medal-winning 1987 Olympic Festival women's basketball team. In 1989 he was the assistant coach of the USA representative at the World Junior Championships in Bilbao, Spain (now called U19).[18] In 1990, he was an assistant coach under Theresa Grentz for the USA National team at the World Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The team, behind the 22 point per game scoring of Teresa Edwards, won all eight contests, with only the win over Cuba decided by single digits. The USA team faced Yugoslavia in the gold medal game, and won 88–78.[19] The same team returned to Seattle, Washington, for the 1990 Goodwill Games. The team hadn't lost a game in the last 36 games, but they struggled in the opening game against South Korea. They were trailing after more than eleven minutes played before going on a run to take a commanding lead. The next opponent was the USSR, who led at halftime, before the USA took over in the second half. The USA team then won two games easily, and faced the USSR again for the gold medal. This time, the USA took at ten point lead in the first half, opened the second half with a 16–1 run and held on to win 82–70.[20][21]

In 1991, Foster had his first USA experience as a head coach, with the Junior Select Team, coaching the team to a 5–1 record.[22] In 1992, he returned to his role as an assistant under Grentz, when the USA National team went to the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The team only suffered one loss but it was a 79–73 loss in the medal round to the Unified team (the countries of the former Soviet Union). The team won the final game against Cuba to earn the bronze medal.[23]

Foster took over the head coaching duties of the USA Women's Junior World Championship Team in 1993. The Championship was held in Seoul, South Korea. The USA team lost to host South Korea, but then won three games to stay in contention for the medal round. At the end of preliminary play, the USA team, with a 4–1 record, was in a three-way tie for two medal round positions. The tie-breaking rule was based upon point differential, and the USA team was third behind South Korea and Russia. The USA team then lost a one-point game to France, and recovered to beat Japan in the final game. The team ended with an overall record of 5–2, but this was only good enough for seventh place.[24]

In 1997, Foster was named head coach of the USA representative to the World University Games, held in Marsala, Sicily, Italy. The USA team had not won gold in this biennial event since 1991. This year, the USA team would be dominant, with easy victories in all but one contest. After winning their first three contests by no fewer than 38 points, the USA team faced Russia. The game had five ties and 13 lead changes. Connecticut's Nykesha Sales led the scoring of the USA team with 17 points, hitting connective baskets in the second half to give the USA a lead it would not give up. The USA went on to win the game 78–70. The USA went on to win the two medal rounds games, with a 100–82 victory over Cuba to give the USA team the gold medal.[25]

In 2003, Foster was named head of the USA team competing at the FIBA World Championship For Young Women (also known as the U21 Women's World Championship) held in Šibenik, Croatia. After winning their first two games, the USA team lost to Brazil 73–60. The USA team went on to win their next games, and qualified for the medal round. The semifinal game was against France, their opponent in the first game, That game had been close, with the USA winning by a score of 56–48. This game would also be close, with the USA winning 58–47 to advance to the gold medal game in a rematch against Brazil. The USA team started out much better, and had a 50–31 margin early in the second half, but Brazil went on a run and cut the lead to seven points with a little over a minute left in the third quarter. Neither team scored for several minutes into the fourth quarter, but the USA finally out together a run, and won the game 71–55 to win the gold medal.[26]

Foster now has been part of the coaching staff of five gold medal teams and one bronze medal team for the US, with an overall record of 27–4.[26]

Hall of Fame

Foster was inducted in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2013. In his induction speech, he recalled meetings with Pat Summitt when the Hall of Fame was in the formative stages.[27] His credentials include 35 years of head coaching experience at St. Joseph's, Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Chattanooga with a 71.8% lifetime winning percentage, along with four Big Ten Coach of the Year awards.[28]

Awards and honors

Head coaching record

Sources: St. Joseph's,[32] Ohio State[33]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
St. Joseph's Hawks (Independent) (1978–1979)
1978–79 St. Joseph's 16–9 AIAW
St. Joseph's: 16–9 (.640)
St. Joseph's Hawks (Philadelphia Big 5) (1979–1983)
1979–80 St. Joseph's 11–15 3–1
1980–81 St. Joseph's 14–11 2–2
1981–82 St. Joseph's 16–12 2–2
1982–83 St. Joseph's 15–13 3–1
St. Joseph's: 56–51 (.523) 10–6 (.625)
St. Joseph's Hawks (Atlantic 10 Conference) (1983–1991)
1983–84 St. Joseph's 17–10 3–5 6th
1984–85 St. Joseph's 25–5 7–1 1st NCAA first round
1985–86 St. Joseph's 22–7 2–4 T-2nd NCAA second round
1986–87 St. Joseph's 23–9 14–4 3rd NCAA second round
1987–88 St. Joseph's 24–8 16–2 2nd NCAA second round
1988–89 St. Joseph's 23–8 16–2 T-1st NCAA second round
1989–90 St. Joseph's 24–7 16–2 T-1st NCAA first round
1990–91 St. Joseph's 18–12 10–8 T-5th
St. Joseph's: 176–66 (.727) 84–28 (.750)
Vanderbilt Commodores (SEC) (1991–2002)
1991–92 Vanderbilt 22–9 6–5 NCAA Elite Eight
1992–93 Vanderbilt 30–3 9–2 NCAA Final Four
1993–94 Vanderbilt 25–8 9–2 NCAA Sweet 16
1994–95 Vanderbilt 28–7 8–3 NCAA Sweet 16
1995–96 Vanderbilt 23–8 7–4 NCAA Elite Eight
1996–97 Vanderbilt 20–11 6–6 NCAA Sweet 16
1997–98 Vanderbilt 20–9 9–5 NCAA first round
1998–99 Vanderbilt 13–14 6–8
1999-00 Vanderbilt 21–13 6–8 NCAA second round
2000–01 Vanderbilt 24–10 8–6 NCAA Elite Eight
2001–02 Vanderbilt 30–7 10–4 NCAA Elite Eight
Vanderbilt: 256–99 (.721) 84–53 (.613)
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten) (2002–2013)
2002–03 Ohio State 22–10 10–6 T-4th NCAA second round
2003–04 Ohio State 21–10 11–5 3rd NCAA second round
2004–05 Ohio State 30–5 14–2 T-1st NCAA Sweet 16
2005–06 Ohio State 29–3 15–1 1st NCAA second round
2006–07 Ohio State 28–4 15–1 1st NCAA first round
2007–08 Ohio State 22–9 13–5 T-1st NCAA first round
2008–09 Ohio State 29–6 15–3 1st NCAA Sweet 16
2009–10 Ohio State 31–5 15–3 1st NCAA second round
2010–11 Ohio State 24–10 10–6 T-3rd NCAA Sweet 16
2011–12 Ohio State 25–7 11–5 T-2nd NCAA first round
2012–13 Ohio State 18–13 7–9 T-8th
Ohio State: 279–82 (.773) 136–46 (.747)
Chattanooga Mocs (Southern) (2013–2018)
2013–14 Chattanooga 29–4 18–0 1st NCAA first round
2014–15 Chattanooga 29–4 14–0 1st NCAA first round
2015–16 Chattanooga 24–8 12–2 1st NCAA first round
2016–17 Chattanooga 21–11 12–2 1st NCAA first round
2017–18 Chattanooga 17–13 8–6 3rd WNIT 1st Round
Chattanooga: 120–40 64–10
Total: 903–347 (.722)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also


  1. ^ "OSU's Jim Foster elected to women's basketball Hall of Fame". Cleveland.com. July 17, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  2. ^ Mocs Give Foster 900th Win; Down WCU 58-41
  3. ^ a b "Foster Announces Retirement". Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Jim Foster". Ohio State Buckeyes. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "'Veteran' coach wants team to collect experiences". Sports Illustrated. November 7, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Greenberg, Mel (December 8, 2001). "Former St. Joseph's coach Jim Foster leads his No. 4 Vanderbilt women against Temple tomorrow". Philly.com. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Jim Foster's next stop: Chattanooga". ESPN. May 9, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  9. ^ "2012–13 Saint Joseph's University Women's Basketball Media Guide". Saint Joseph's University. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Jim Foster". UTC Chattanooga University. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  11. ^ "Past Presidents". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e "UTC names Jim Foster new Lady Mocs' coach". WorldNow and WRCB. May 9, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  13. ^ Massie, Jim (March 19, 2013). "Ohio State women's basketball: Coach Jim Foster fired". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  14. ^ "Skylar Diggins leads Irish past Buckeyes in Carrier Classic". ESPN. November 9, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  15. ^ Miller, Rusty (November 8, 2012). "Game on aircraft carrier evokes memories for Jim Foster". Philly.com. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  16. ^ Wehunt, Ann (April 28, 2016). "Foster Signs Contract Extension Through 2022". gomocs.com. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  17. ^ "USA Basketball 2013–16 Quadrennium Committees". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on May 4, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  18. ^ "Second FIBA Women's U19/Junior World Championship – 1989". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  19. ^ "Eleventh World Championship for Women —1990". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 14, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  20. ^ "Second Women's Goodwill Games – 1990". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 1, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  21. ^ "Goodwill Games : Basketball : U.S. Women Give Crowd Something to Sing About". LA Times. August 6, 1990. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  22. ^ "All-Time USA Basketball Women's Results by Major International Event". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on May 15, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  23. ^ "Games of the XXVth Olympiad – 1992". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  24. ^ "Third FIBA Women's U19/Junior World Championship – 1993". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  25. ^ "Eighteenth World University Games – 1997". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  26. ^ a b "First FIBA Women's U21 World Championship – 2003". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 28, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  27. ^ Cornelius, Maria M. (June 9, 2013). "Six enter Women's Basketball HOF". ESPN. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  28. ^ "They're the class of 2013". ESPN. June 7, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  29. ^ "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  30. ^ "USBWA Women's Honors". United States Basketball Writers Association. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  31. ^ "Ohio State's Jim Foster Named 2003 USA Basketball Developmental Coach of the Year". Ohio State Buckeyes. November 24, 2003. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  32. ^ "2010–2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Women's Basketball Media Guide". Atlantic 10. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  33. ^ "2012–13 Big Ten Women's Basketball Media Guides". Big 10. Retrieved May 11, 2013.