Coach Jim Foster has brought the Ohio State University women's basketball program back to national prominence, as it has a 25-3, 12-2 Big Ten record before playing the Boilermakers in Mackey Arena tonight. Coach Foster had previous coached at Vanderbilt and St. Joseph's, and came into the 2004-2005 season with a 547-245 overall record. Read more about the veteran coach at his page on the official Ohio State athletics Web site:
1) How did you become interested in coaching? I was pushed in that direction. I was coaching teams in Philadelphia when I was 16 years old, a couple of teams. Then when I came back out of the service, I was given the opportunity to coach at a school.
2) Which coach (from any sport, any era) do you most admire and why? I was influenced by a couple of different coaches. Getting the job at St. Joe's, Jim Lynam was the head coach there my first three years. He certainly had a significant influence on my early development as a coach. From an academic point of view, I think I learned a great deal from Gerry DiNardo. When we were together at Vanderbilt, Iíd never been around a coach who had that much passion for the academic end of it as Gerry did.
3) What is the best part about Ohio State University and the Columbus, Ohio, community? I had never coached at a state university. There are X number of players who grow up in the state who have a dream to play at the state university. Thatís a great attribute. As far as Columbus, itís a very diverse city and thereís a lot to do. Itís a great place to live.
4) What words do you want to come to mind when people think of MSU's women's basketball program? Hard working and unselfish.
5) What one coaching cliche would you ban from ever being uttered again? I think Iím right there with Bob Knight and the proverbial game face.
6) What is good right now in the world of collegiate women's basketball? Parity. Teams can dream.
7) True or False: It is more difficult to sustain a program's excellence than to achieve it initially. I donít know if you can have a True or False answer to that question. I think both are difficult. Thereís a wide variety in what makes them difficult. I think that neither should be taken for granted.
8) What traits or attributes do you look for when recruiting high school or junior college players? Skill, effort and attitude. Itís a package.
9) Can you describe how it feels when you coach against a former colleague or a very good friend? Itís uncomfortable. I donít play Connecticut. I donít play Notre Dame. We end up playing against former coaches only when the NCAA tournament or another tournament creates the match-up.
10) How would you describe Purdue's Kristy Curry in one sentence? Sheís passionate about her craft.
Thank you to Lauren Price for making this Q&A possible.