'Cats hire Army's Jim Foster as new baseball skipper

EVANSTON, Ill. – Jim Foster, the 2022 Patriot League Coach of the Year who led Army West Point to four conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, has been named Northwestern's head baseball coach, Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation, Dr. Derrick Gragg announced Tuesday.

"We are so excited to welcome Jim Foster and his family to Northwestern," said Gragg. "In a comprehensive national search, his combination of on-field success and student-athlete development set him apart. The on-field record speaks for itself, both in terms of team and individual success. His experience of leadership at West Point, an institution we have enormous respect for, is something that has prepared him for the academic environment our students thrive in. The future of Wildcats baseball is exceptionally bright with Jim at the helm."

Foster led Army to the NCAA postseason in each of the last four full seasons of competition. That streak began in 2018 when the Black Knights upended nationally-ranked host NC State to move into the winner's bracket. During his tenure, Foster coached an All-American, a Patriot League Player and Pitcher of the Year, two Defensive Players of the Year, two Rookies of the Year and 33 All-League selections.

"My family and I are thrilled to join the Wildcats community," said Foster. "I'm grateful to Dr. Gragg, the advisory committee, and his executive leadership team for this amazing opportunity. The chance to join a community of world-class coaches and educators, coach top student-athletes, play in a great ballpark, train in some of the best facilities in the game, and live in the Chicagoland baseball community makes for an exciting future at Miller Park. We can't wait to get to Evanston to settle in, meet everyone and get to work."

Over the course of a 15-year head coaching career, Foster has compiled a 430-370-3 (.567) record, which includes guiding the Black Knights to a 162-140 (.536) overall mark with a 76-45 (.628) ledger in Patriot League games. This season his club owned the League's most potent offense and its lowest team ERA, won the regular-season crown, and became the first team in conference history to capture four consecutive tournament titles. Southpaw Connelly Early earned Pitcher of the Year honors while nine Cadets garnered an All-Patriot League nod, including seven on the First Team.

Prior to his six years at West Point, for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Foster was Boston College's associate head coach. He worked with pitchers and catchers, served as the recruiting coordinator, and was instrumental in helping the school reach its first ever Super Regional after winning the Ole Miss Regional in 2016.

Foster led the Rhode Island Rams for nine seasons from 2006-14. The winningest coach in school history, he compiled a 268-230-3 (.538) overall record and a 140-85-1 (.622) Atlantic 10 mark. He guided the team to six consecutive 30-win campaigns, eight straight A-10 Championship Game appearances, and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance. During his tenure in Kingston, Foster coached 28 All-Conference selections, three A10 Pitchers of the Year, and two A10 Players of the Year.

As a player, Foster was a student-athlete at Providence College where he earned two All-Big East nods and took home 1992 Big East Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. A 22nd round Major League Baseball Draft selection by the Baltimore, he played eight professional seasons in the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations. He appeared in 770 games, hitting .273/.368/.286 with 711 hits, 71 home runs and 426 RBIs. In 1993 he was a Topps All-Rookie honoree and was Baseball Weekly's Minor League Catcher of the Year in 1997.

Foster and his wife, Narelle, have four children: Madison, Courtney, Delaney, and Bo.