Jim Foster Out After 11 Years -Big Ten Championships Not Enough
Columbus, Ohio… Story By Michael Goins -Former Ohio State women’s basketball coach Jim Foster will probably be remembered for what he didn’t accomplish, than for what he did. In today’s “one and done” sports world of instant gratification, what Foster coudln’t deliver was a national championship. Foster did deliver championships.
The only problem with those championships is that they aren’t the kind, Ohio State is looking for anymore. Under Foster’s tenure, the Ohio State women claimed six consecutive Big-Ten regular-season championships and four Big-Ten Tournament championships. Foster took the lady bucks to a school-record 10 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Foster himself, was named the Big Ten women’s coach of the year four times. Not enough? No, not today. Not with the facilities, budget, and magnetism that Ohio State university basketball has.
I’ve had a close up look at the Ohio State women’s basketball team over the last several years, and there has always been that question mark as to how good they were and what were the expectations. Certainly the expectations were that the Lady Bucks would not be consistently beaten in first or second round NCAA tournament games, especially one’s they played host to. Consistent losses to top tier programs like Tennessee, Stanford, Connecticut and others told the true story.
The “Tale Of The Tape” for the Lady Bucks was telling: An 18-13 overall finish to this past season, Foster’s first losing season in the Big Ten, going 7-9, and no incoming talent to make the case to stay the course.
One thing was clear to me, if Foster couldn’t pull off an Elite 8 or Final Four appearance with the likes of Jantel Lavendar and Samantha Prahalis on the roster, where would the talent come from to acheive such lofty heights. If you add future WNBA player Tayler Hill to the mix, you could make the case that Foster should have competed for a national championship every year. Defensive standouts Shavelle Little, Amber Stokes, Brittany Johnson, etc. The list of talent under Fosters command, on the same roster, during one stretch can go on and on.
If this past season was any indication of where the program was heading, not even all those Big Ten Championships could save him.
Where the Buckeyes turn next is the big question. Trying to land that top tier coach is going to be a challenge, especially knowing that surpassing Foster’s record is going to be a tough one, and an expectation going forward. Ohio State has thrown down the gauntlett. The women’s basketball program is now expected to be on par with the Football and men’s basketball programs as far as national stature. Stay tuned..