|Other Position:||Outside Linebackers|
Foster, 68, is the oldest person ever named a coach, head or assistant, in any sport in Buff history. But the expertise he has gained over four decades of coaching, especially on the defensive side of the ball, was exactly why Hawkins lured his former mentor out of retirement ... again.
Hawkins was a fullback at UC-Davis when Foster was the school's defensive coordinator in the early 1980s, eventually serving as UCD's head coach from 1989 to 1992. Fast-forward to 1995 when Hawkins was wrapping up his stint as head coach at NAIA power Willamette, and he brought Foster out of retirement to work three seasons as a defensive consultant. The two roamed the sidelines last together in 1997, when Willamette finished 13-1 and reached the NAIA championship game.
He then stayed "un-retired" and joined Mike Bellotti's staff at Oregon as defensive coordinator for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Bellotti also was a player at UC-Davis during Foster's time there and called upon his old friend those two seasons, in which the Ducks would go 17-7 and earn two bowl invitations. One was the '98 Aloha Bowl against Colorado; the Buffs won in a 51-43 shootout, but had just 397 yards on offense while feasting on six Oregon turnovers with two touchdowns on returns, one on the opening kickoff.
Foster came out of retirement twice to coach the linebackers at California under head coach Jeff Tedford, whom he met while working on the same staff at Oregon. The first stint was the 2002 season, in which he helped turn a 1-10 team into one that went 7-5, and again in 2006 when the Bears finished 10-3.
Foster earned two degrees from UC-Davis, his bachelor's in physical education in 1964 and a master's in the same field in 1974. He began his coaching career at his alma mater as the freshman team head coach for the 1963 and 1964 seasons. He then spent six years (1965-70) at Vanden (Calif.) High School as an assistant coach before returning to Davis as linebacker coach. After coaching the 'backers for seven seasons (1971-77), he was named defensive coordinator for the 1978 season, a position he would hold for 11 years and during which his defenses gained a reputation for being stingy and fundamentally sound.
In 1989, he replaced the legendary Jim Sochor, who coached UCD for 19 seasons, the last 18 with Foster on staff. The Aggies posted a 30-11-1 record in Foster's four seasons as head coach, winning three conference titles and reaching the NCAA Division II playoffs on two occasions.
At UC-Davis, he also coached current Boise State head coach Chris Petersen and Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.
He was born January 12, 1941 in Clovis, Calif., and graduated from Analy High School (Sebastapol, Calif.), where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He was a four-year letterman as a running back at UC-Davis from 1958-61, earning All-Far Western Conference honors as a senior. He also lettered twice as an outfielder in baseball for UCD and was inducted into the Aggies' Hall of Fame in 2002. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, his hobbies include fly-fishing, golf and singing. He is married (Carol) and is the father of two grown sons, Scott and Luke.
TOP PLAYERS COACHED-All-Pacific 10 Conference Performers (2): Wendell Hunter (California), Peter Sirmon (Oregon). NFL Players/Draft Picks (6): Jeff Allen, Bo Eason, Hunter, Casey Merrill, Sirmon, Mike Wise.
RECORD-Overall, he has coached in 317 games on the Division I-A, II and NAIA levels, with a record of 242-68-7. He has coached in 49 Division I-A games as a full-time coach, owning a record of 34-15 (17-7 at Oregon, 17-8 at California); he has coached in three bowl games. Including his 30-11-1 mark as a head coach at Division II UC-Davis, the school posted a 180-48-6 record during his 22 years there as a full-time coach. Willamette was 28-5-1 during his three years at the NAIA school (1995-97).