Jim Foster has been named the new head coach of the Chattanooga Lady Mocs basketball team, UTC athletic director David Blackburn revealed in a tweet this afternoon.
Foster, a 2013 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, won six consecutive Big Ten titles at Ohio State before being fired after an 18-13 finish in 2012-13, but the 35-year-old coaching veteran had made it clear that he wasn’t quite ready to call it quits.
“Chattanooga has always been one of our favorite places, going back to the early 90’s when the SEC tournament was hosted in this city,” Foster said. “I have always had a favorable impression of Chattanooga because of that and have been back often with my wife. [Former head coach Wes Moore] has done an absolutely terrific job of building a program that I have a lot of respect for. I am ready to work.”
Foster, whose also made head-coaching stops at Vanderbilt and St. Joseph’s (Pa.), has compiled 783 wins and a .718 winning percentage in his career. He led Ohio State to six straight Big Ten titles, 10 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and was named Big Ten coach of the year four times, before being let go by the Buckeyes after a disappointing 18-13 finish last season.
“It was apparent from the beginning of this process that the strong tradition of excellence surrounding our women’s basketball program would attract a well-qualified candidate pool,” Blackburn said. “I had no idea that we would be able to hire a Hall of Famer like Jim Foster.
“His career speaks for itself. He has achieved success at both the collegiate and international levels, while maintaining programs that graduate student-athletes and prepare them for productive and meaningful lives.”
Foster replaces Moore, who left for North Carolina State last month after 15 seasons in charge of the Lady Mocs.
A pusblic reception/press conference has been scheduled for Friday at noon in the Chattanooga Room of the University Center, officially introducting Foster as UTC's fifth women's basketball coach in school history.
Michael Murphy covers UTC athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelNooga.