Jay Foster named head coach at Clarion

Feb. 8, 2006

Clarion, Pa. - Clarion University press release

Jay Foster, 46, a talented and respected coach and coordinator, was named Clarion University's 11th head football coach since 1926, it was announced today by Athletic Director Dave Katis.

Foster replaces Malen Luke who resigned following the 2005 season.

Foster comes to Clarion from Slippery Rock University where he has been a coach for 18 seasons, including the last 17 as Defensive Coordinator or Co-Defensive Coordinator. Also the defensive backs coach, Foster is a strong recruiter, has a commitment to academics and was Recruiting Coordinator at Slippery Rock for 12 seasons (1988-2000).

"I am truly honored and excited to announce that Jay Foster has accepted the position of head football coach at Clarion," said Katis.

"We feel Jay possesses all the attributes we were looking for in a head coach," he continued. "He is highly respected for his coaching abilities, will be an outstanding recruiter, is committed to graduating student-athletes and is motivated to be the best. The tradition of Golden Eagle football is in good hands with Jay Foster as head coach and we welcome him to Clarion."

A coach under Dr. George Mihalik at Slippery Rock, Jay has been part of every win and success during Mihalik's 18-year reign there. Slippery Rock has an overall record since 1988 of 120-73-4 (61.9%), including three NCAA Division II playoff invitations and four PSAC-West titles.

Slippery Rock won four straight PSAC-West crowns from 1997-2000, was an NCAA Division II semifinalist in 1998 and ranked second in the nation in 1999.


"First I'd like to thank Dr. Grunenwald, Dave Katis and everyone involved in the search process for this opportunity," said Foster. "Becoming a head coach has been a dream of mine and that dream has come true at an outstanding university. Clarion has a proud tradition of academics, athletics and in football, and I look forward to being part of the Clarion team. Our priority for our program will be recruiting quality student athletes that always represent the university and the program in a first class manner. We will have three goals for our players. First to set high expectations for each player in the classroom and on the field. Second, with expectations comes responsibilities and we will expect those responsibilities to be met. Third is accountability. The players must and will be held accountable for reaching their primary expectations. Our mission simply is to provide leadership and set an example for our players to be fully prepared both on the field and in the classroom. To always perform at the highest level. With that our program will succeed and the players will be prepared when they graduate to move on and be successful after football."

With Foster at the helm, Slippery Rock's defense has ranked #1 in the PSAC against the pass the last two seasons, and ranked #4 and #5 in total defense, respectively. The 2002 squad was ranked #1 in scoring defense and #2 in total defense. In the PSAC-West championship years (1997-2000), Slippery Rock's defense under Foster was tops in the PSAC.

In 1997, Slippery Rock was 11-2 overall and 6-0 in the PSAC-West, while the defense was ranked #1 in the entire PSAC in rushing yards (96.2 y/g) and #3 in scoring defense (18.5ppg). In 1998 SR was 12-2 overall and 6-0 in the PSAC-West, while the defense was #1 in the PSAC in scoring defense (14.8ppg), #2 against the rush (84.4 y/g) and #1 in total defense (248.6). The 1999 squad was 10-2 overall and 6-0 in the PSAC-West with the defense ranking #1 in scoring (19.1ppg), #2 against the run (125.7) and #1 in total defense (282.3 y/g) in the PSAC. In 2000 SR was 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the PSAC-West. The defense finished #2 in scoring defense (17.2ppg) and #3 in total defense (296.2).

"We are very proud to have Jay Foster assume leadership of our football program," said President Dr. Joseph P. Grunenwald. "His distinguished coaching career provides strong evidence of his knowledge and approach to the game. Far more importantly, Coach Foster is a man of strong personal character who is absolutely committed to the academic performance of his athletes. He will serve as a solid role model for our young men both on and off the field."

A native of Berwick, Maine, Jay attended Noble High School and graduated in 1977. He was captain of both the football and basketball teams.

Jay enrolled Plymouth State College (Plymouth, N.H.) and was graduated in 1985 with a B.S. Degree in Physical Education. A free safety on the gridiron at Plymouth State, he saw Plymouth compile and impressive 38-4 record overall record during his stay. A two-year starter (Jr & Sr), he was an All-New England Conference selection in 1983. The team was selected for the NCAA Division III Playoffs his senior year (1984). They were the first New England team to received a D-III Playoff bid.

Foster was a two-year graduate assistant at West Chester under Danny Hale for the 1986 and 1987 seasons. He coached tights ends and wide receivers for a season, and then outside linebackers the other. West Chester won two PSAC-East titles. He went to Slippery Rock for the 1988 season prior to coming to Clarion.

What type of team should Clarion fans come to expect with Foster at the helm?

"We'll have a hard hitting, physical football team," Foster analyzed. "The way the Steelers play is the prototype we want to emulate for lasting success. Foremost we want to create a team comes first mentality. On offense we want to be able to establish the running game, but still have an exciting passing attack. On defense we want to be fast and physical up front, stop the run, and force teams to pass. We expect to recruit quality young men from Pennsylvania, with a majority from Western Pennsylvania, that have a strong work ethic both in the classroom and on the football field. And we want to create a family atmosphere with the players, coaches, campus and surrounding community. Those are our goals and they are basic, but they are the foundations for winning."

Foster and wife Dorry have three children including sons Zach and Thom, along with a daughter Brogan. The family currently resides in Grove City. Jay is the son of John Foster who resides in Berwick, Maine.

CLARION NOTES: Foster was an AFCA Division II Finalist for the Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002 .... Foster was also the SR Football Team Academic Coordinator the last six seasons... His responsibilities including Academic Tracking of all players, Study Table, and communication on the student athletes with the SRU Faculty... Slippery Rock had an impressive 12-year streak of winning seasons from 1991-2002... During that streak SR posted a 94-40 record - a winning percentage of 70.1%...Clarion's winningest coach was Al Jacks (1963-81)... Jacks' 19-year record was 128-46-5, a winning percentage of .7290 ... Jacks, by the way, came to Clarion from Slippery Rock to become the head coach in 1963 ... He was an assistant at SR under Chuck Godlasky.

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Jay Foster was named Wednesday as head coach at Clarion
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