UTC's Jim Foster: It's 799 Wins and Counting

UTC vs. Samford, Sat. 4 p.m.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

"Jim has an incredible passion for our sport ... he is such a class act and does everything with the utmost integrity … I couldn't be happier for him to be getting his 800th win and I'm sure there are many more to come!"

-- Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw

 

Jim Foster wore a suit and tie when he won his first college game as a head coach at St.

Joseph’s in Dec. 1978.

Thirty-five years later the game-day suits are long gone, but the victories have continued as this women’s college basketball hall of famer has his first shot at No. 800 this Saturday.

Known for his sweater attire for three decades and his uncanny ability to have his players compete at a high level on the court and in the classrooms, coach Foster is 799-310.

“It makes no sense to dress up and sweat,” said Foster in response to why he wears sweaters minus the coat and tie.

His wife Donna also adds, “We didn’t have much money in those early years at St. Joseph’s and he was wearing out too many suits. We were not on a Gucci-type budget.”

As the Philadelphia, Pa. native goes for No. 800, the Lady Mocs seek their 35th straight home court win and 25th straight Southern Conference win against SoCon foe Samford at 4 p.m. in McKenzie Area on ESPN3.

The game should be billed as “Sweater Day at McKenzie” as fans could do their best impressions of coach Foster in a dark blue or black sweater.

Ironically, Samford is the last team to beat UTC in McKenzie posting a 68-66 win in the SoCon tournament, Mar. 5, 2011.

Known for down-playing milestone wins in exchange for focusing on the “only thing that matters is the two hours on Saturday”, Foster’s dry humor response to the umpteenth question on is winning No. 800 important to him was, “is someone going to buy me dinner.?”

Yet many have indeed provided celebration dinners for the 1980 Temple U. grad and “a fan of team with Philadelphia on the front of the jersey” as he has led three NCAA D-I schools to 26 trips to the annual Big Dance each March.

A remarkable basketball coach, Foster has 200-plus wins at St. Joseph’s (248-126), Vanderbilt (256-99) and Ohio State (279-82) and now 16 victories in his first season at UTC.

Not only has he has excellent teams, but quality assistant coaches.

Two of his former assistants – Geno Auriemma (UConn) and Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame) – have undefeated teams in the top five this season.

"Jim has an incredible passion for our sport and is a true advocate for women's basketball,” said Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw.

“He is such a class act and does everything with the utmost integrity. I'm proud to call him not only a mentor, but a friend, and someone who has had a tremendous impact, not only on my career, but on those of so many other coaches and student-athletes. I couldn't be happier for him to be getting his 800th win and I'm sure there are many more to come!"

For two hours this Saturday, coach Foster will have his 'class act' and 13 talented players at McKenzie Arena in search of another SoCon win and victory No.800.

 

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@omcast.net


Dalton State Men’s Cross Country In NAIA Top 25

The fourth Dalton State sports team has been recognized as an elite member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Men’s cross country jumped into the NAIA Top 25 with the poll released Wednesday night. It took the season’s seventh poll, but the Roadrunners are now number 25. This marks the first ever national ranking in cross country. It is the team’s ... (click for more)

Chattanoogan.com Prep Football Picks: Week Ten

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex Fetches $15 Million

Walnut Commons, the first downtown apartment complex built in many years, sold for $15 million, one of the developers said. John Clark said the initial estimate on the project was $11 million and it wound up costing around $12 million to build. "We're very pleased with the sale," he said. Mr. Clark, along with partners David Hudson and Bob McKenzie, are selling their stock ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principal Ronald Hughes Named Tennessee's 2014-15 Principal Of The Year

A Hamilton County elementary school principal and an Anderson County supervisor have earned top honors for their work in Tennessee education. Ronald Hughes, principal of Apison Elementary School in Chattanooga, was named Tennessee’s 2014-15 Principal of the Year. He has served as principal at Apison Elementary for the past six years, and spent three decades working in Tennessee ... (click for more)

Congratulations To Ron Hughes

Hearty congratulations to Ron Hughes for being selected as Tennessee State Elementary Principal of the Year for 2014. Wherever Ron has been assigned as principal, he has exhibited strong leadership both academically and morally. His faith in God and his love for the students of Hamilton County have guided his actions and everyone that has benefited from the excellent education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Brittany’s Days Dwindle

So here we are, facing what is known as “Devil’s Night” before Halloween comes, and the almost macabre news now comes that Brittany Maynard, the beautiful girl who has chosen to end her life as soon as Saturday, is struggling to meet her own deadline. She has inoperable brain cancer and, at best, only months to live. The 29-year-old, who was married shortly before her devastating ... (click for more)