Boston College pitching coach Jim Foster has been named the head coach of the Army West Point Black Knights, according to a release from the service academy on Thursday.
Foster, who came to Chestnut Hill after nine seasons as the head coach of Rhode Island, spent two years with the Eagles, during which he became known as one of the preeminent pitching masterminds in the nation.
"After an extensive national search, we are extremely pleased to announce Jim Foster as our new baseball coach," said Army West Point athletics director Boo Corrigan in a release. "Jim brings a wealth of winning eperience. His commitment to excellence while upholding a standard fits well with our dedication to duty, honor, country."
Foster replaces Matt Reid, who spent three seasons as the Black Knights' head coach. It marks a return to head coaching for him after he spent between 2006 and 2014 as head coach of the Rhode Island Rams. During his tenure in Kingston, he suffered only two losing seasons, winning two regular season Atlantic-10 Championships. The Rams failed to qualify for the A-10 Tournament only once - Foster's last season. His run included six straight 30-win seasons, including two conference players of the year and three conference pitchers of the year.
Mike Gambino convinced Foster to leave head coaching behind, making him a valued assistant coach at Boston College after Scott Friedholm left to accept the head coaching position at UNC-Wilmington. At BC, he worked with the pitching staff and the catchers, helping develop one of the best rotations in the nation.
This past season alone, BC's pitching staff had a 3.83 earned run average with over 430 strikeouts in 507 innings. From the pitching staff, three pitchers all went in the first 20 rounds of the draft, along with the team's starting catcher.
The Black Knights are looking to rebuild their baseball program after disappointment through the past half decade. In 2013, the academy fired Joe Sottolano and installed Reid as their interim head coach. He responded with a Patriot League regular season championship in which Army tied with Bucknell atop the standings (though Bucknell won the conference tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament). In 2015, the Black Knights overall record sunk to 21-26 as their conference record tumbled to a last place finish at 6-14. After a 6-13 finish this past season that included a 16-32 overall record, Corrigan decided to make the change at the helm of the program.
Foster played his collegiate career at Providence College before the program was cut from the Friars athletic department. A 22nd round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles, he spent seven years with the organization in the minors before spending time with Arizona, Anaheim, and the White Sox. He was the 1997 Minor League Catcher of the Year. Following a 10-year minor league career, Foster began coaching as an assistant in Rhode Island at Brown University, where he was the hitting coach.