July 16, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 15th group of inductees, the Class of 2013, during the USA vs. Brazil game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Among the six-member class is Ohio State head coach Jim Foster.
The other five members include Gary Blair (coach), Peggie Gillom-Granderson (player), Jen Rizzotti (player), Annette Smith-Knight (player) and Sue Wicks (player). The Class of 2013 will be formally introduced at the 2012 State Farm Tip-Off Classic between Baylor and Kentucky Nov. 13th in Waco, Texas, and inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame June 8, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Foster will be in his 11th year at Ohio State and his 35th overall as a head coach in 2012-13. Throughout his coaching career, the Abington, Pa., native has posted a 765-294 (.722) record and his squads have made 27 postseason appearances (26 NCAA tournaments), including 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments, four trips to the Elite Eight, 11 Sweet Sixteen's and one Final Four. His is the eighth-winningest active coach in Division I and is just the second collegiate coach - men's or women's at any level - to win at least 200 games at three different schools.
At Ohio State, Foster has helped the Buckeyes qualify for a school-record 10 consecutive NCAA tournaments and rank in the national Top 10 in five of the last seven seasons. A four-time Big Ten coach of the year (2005-07, '09), he led the Buckeyes to a record-setting sixth consecutive Big Ten regular season title and a second straight tournament title in 2010 while setting a program record with 31 wins. During the last eight seasons, Ohio State has the ninth-most wins (218) in Division I women's college basketball and is one of eight schools to win at least 20 games over the last 10 years. The Buckeyes have captured four Big Ten tournament titles since 2006 and have advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen on three different occasions since 2005.
At Vanderbilt, Foster compiled a 256-99 record in 11 seasons (1991-2002) with an impressive .721 winning percentage, a 1993 Final Four appearance, four Elite Eight trips and three Sweet Sixteen finishes. During his tenure with the Commodores, 10 of his teams finished the season ranked in the Top 25. During the 2001-02 season, Foster's team earned a second Elite Eight finish in as many years, a Southeastern Conference (SEC) tournament championship, No. 4 Associated Press and No. 5 USA Today/ESPN rankings and his second 30-win campaign. Taking the head coaching position at Vanderbilt May 22, 1991, Foster quickly made his mark on the program. Vanderbilt finished among the Top 10 for the first time in the Top 25 polls and made its best postseason finish at that time - an Elite Eight appearance in the 1992 NCAA Tournament.
Prior to Foster's arrival, Vanderbilt had yet to win more than half its conference games, but he quickly reversed that trend. Under his leadership, the Commodores captured three SEC postseason tournament championship titles (1993, '95 and 2002) and made five trips (1993, '94, '95, 2001 and '02) to the SEC tournament championship game.
During the 1992-93 season, Foster's squad tallied a record-setting 30-3 season that included a No. 1 ranking, the SEC postseason tournament title and ultimately a spot in the Final Four. (Coincidentally, Ohio State also was in the Final Four that year but the teams did not meet.) Additionally, Foster was named the 1993 United States Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year.
Prior to his Vanderbilt appointment, Foster spent 13 years at St. Joseph's (Pa.) University (1978-91), where he recorded a 248-126 (.663) record and seven postseason appearances (six NCAA and one AIAW - Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women). During a span of six years (1985-90), the Hawks captured 1985, 1989 and 1990 first-place finishes in the Atlantic 10 Conference, six 20-plus win seasons and competed in the NCAA tournament every year. In 1985, Foster garnered NCAA coach of the year honors. His team was 25-5 that season, won the Atlantic 10 Conference title and made the NCAA tournament.
But probably the most impressive statistic goes way beyond wins, tournament berths and championships. Throughout his coaching career, Foster has preached the importance of academics. And in addition to his players consistently earning high marks in the classroom, every student-athlete who has played for Foster at St. Joe's, Vanderbilt and Ohio State has gone on to earn their degree. Two years ago, the Ohio State women's basketball squad was honored once again with an APR (Academic Progress Rate) score in the Top 10 percent of all Division I squads in the sport.
The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Board of Directors serves as the selection committee in determining which individuals will be inducted each year and which groups will be honored as "Trailblazers of the Game". Voting is based on various factors, which include moral character, integrity, sportsmanship, record of performance, ability, national or international recognition, and contributions to the game of women's basketball.
In order to be considered for selection for induction, an individual must meet the following prerequisites:
Player: Must be retired from the highest level of play for at least five years
Coach: Must have coached the women's game at least 20 years
Referee: Must have officiated the women's game at least 10 years
Contributor: Must have significantly impacted the game of women's basketball
For information regarding the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the State Farm Tip-Off Classic, and the 2013 Induction Ceremony please visit www.wbhof.com.