Bill Foster, the second winningest coach in Clemson basketball history on a percentage basis, served as the Tigers' seventeenth head basketball coach, 1975-1984. He is second to Rick Barnes on a percentage basis in ACC games (.373) and ACC road games (.233). Foster's Clemson record was 156-106. He is tied for the most top-20 wins (16) in Clemson history and also won 13 games in overtime, also a Clemson record.
Born April 1, 1936, a native of Palatka, Florida, he graduated from Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee, in 1958 and then attended Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, and coached their basketball team (NAIA) for five seasons, 1962-1967, with a 110-31 record. He then coached for five seasons at independent Division I University of North Carolina-Charlotte, 1970-1975, where his teams were 88-38.
Hired in 1975 to replace the disgraced Tates Locke at Clemson, Foster's best year helming the Tigers was 1979-1980 when he guided them to a 23-9 record and the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament, the farthest Clemson has advanced in the history of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers defeated six Top 20 teams that year, still a single-season record for ranked wins. That includes Clemson's only victory in history over the number one-ranked team, an 87-82 win over Duke on January 9, 1980. The Tigers were ranked 18th.
Foster left Clemson in 1984 to restart the Miami (FL) program where he was 78-71 during five seasons (1985-1990), moving to Virginia Tech in 1991 where he was head coach for six seasons through 1997 with a record 101-78. In 1995-96 he took Virginia Tech to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. His 1994-95 team won the NIT.
Foster retired from coaching after the 1996-1997 season with a 532-325 record. He resides in Boone, North Carolina. He was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2001. In September 2005 he received the Bobby Roberts Award from the Augusta Sports Council for lifetime contributions to college basketball. He was inducted into the Carson-Newman Eagles Hall of Fame in 2007.
|Preceded by: Tates Locke||Clemson University Basketball Coaches||Succeeded by: Cliff Ellis|