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


Lookouts Open Important Home Series With Smokies Tuesday Night

After losing 4-of-5 road games to the Jackson Generals and falling out of first place, the Chattanooga Lookouts open a home series with the Tennessee Smokies Tuesday night. The Lookouts,  2015 Southern League Champions, have slipped into third place in the North Division. The Montgomery Biscuits are in first place with the Jackson Generals, the first half division winners, ... (click for more)

South Pittsburg Picked To Win Region 3 1-A

South Pittsburg's Pirates have been picked to win the Region 3-1A high school football championship in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. With head coach Vic Grider back for his second season, the Pirates will be looking for a successful season. Hogan Holland returns at quarterback after completing 75 of 144 passes for more than 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns ... (click for more)

$30 Million Development Planned At King And South Market; Will Include Hotel, Condos, Offices, Retail, Possible Restaurant

A new $30 million development is planned for the Southside at King Street and South Market. Nick Wilkinson, city deputy director for economic development, said it will include a hotel, condos, offices, retail and possibly a restaurant. It could also include some light industry. A storage building and a parking lot are now at the site. He said the developers plan to reuse ... (click for more)

Investor In Scheme Says Dyer Made Contacts At Quarterback Club

One of the investors who was a loser in an investment scheme recently halted by the Securities and Exchange Commission said one of the Chattanooga brokers involved made many of his contacts through the Chattanooga Quarterback Club. Paul Smith, former Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman, said Doug Dyer has been the president for many years of the club that promotes UTC and ... (click for more)

Expand Broadband Internet, Not The Size Of Government

I’d like to respond to two letters in your July 13 edition that praised Rep. Mike Carter’s efforts to expand statewide broadband access. Rep. Carter wants more government involvement in the broadband sector, including an expansion of taxpayer-funded, municipal broadband networks.  Rep. Carter’s supporters argued he’s standing up for consumers against huge telecommunications ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Horses Vs. DesJarlais

It is well-known that shortly after the despicable “Big Lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry put on a very-pointed fundraiser for the equally repugnant Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper) two years ago, the misguided doctor has repeatedly tried to bully and strong-arm the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the behalf of the vermin who sadistically torture the ... (click for more)