Michael Periatt / Managing editor for content
Ohio State coach Jim Foster will not return to the women’s basketball program after coaching at OSU for 11 years. OSU athletic director Gene Smith announced Foster’s departure Tuesday, one day after the team found out they would not be participating in postseason play for the first time since Foster became head coach in 2002.
The Buckeyes went 18-13 and 7-10 in the Big Ten this season. The team did not make it into the NCAA tournament this year and will also be passing on a bid to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).
Foster leaves as the winningest coach in the program’s history with a 279-82 record since his arrival at OSU.
In his time at OSU, Foster led the Buckeyes to six consecutive Big Ten regular season championships – a record in the conference – four tournament championships and an OSU-record 10 consecutive NCAA tournaments.
Foster is also a four-time Big Ten coach of the year.
Foster has been a collegiate basketball head coach for 35 years. Before coming to coach the Buckeyes, Foster coached for 11 seasons at Vanderbilt and 13 years before that at St. Joseph’s. His overall winning percentage is 72 percent.
He is one of two coaches for basketball at any level, men’s or women’s, to win at least 200 games at three different schools.
OSU athletic director Gene Smith emphasized Foster’s importance to the program in a university press release statement.
“Jim Foster has meant so much to so many over his career,” Smith said. “His work in mentoring young people on and off the court has been exceptional. The Ohio State women’s basketball program was made better under Jim’s leadership over the last 11 years. He and (wife) Donna have been wonderful representatives of our university and we wish them the best.”
A national search will begin immediately for a replacement to Foster, according to the press release.