Next up, we have Jimmie Foster of Bradley University. I have known Jimmie for close to twenty years during our time as players and coaches, and I must say that he has a strong passion coaching and helping our youth obtain opportunities. Below is our recent interview.
Me: Jimme, give us some background of your coaching career.
Jimmie: I have been coaching for twelve years. I started coaching high school right here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then moved onto to Junior College and Division I ranks soon after. I have been fortunate to work with great coaches and staffs in my twelve years of coaching. Coaches like Arron Womackat Juneau High School, Jim Gosz at Rufus King High, Doug Wagemester at Kirkwood Community College, Brian Jones at University of North Dakota and Brian Wardle at UW-Green Bay and Bradley University have had a huge influence on me as a coach and person.
In my tenure I've been a part of coaching ten All League Junior College players, three First Team All Americans, nine All Horizon League Players, two Player of the Year players in the Horizon League and one NBA draftee.
Me: So tell us why you decided to get into the coaching profession?
Jimmie: I love the game and basketball and it was and is close to me personally. I made the decision to pursue coaching while working in the Milwaukee Public School system and my goal was to help kids obtain collegiate basketball scholarships. What I found was most student-athletes being sent home from colleges within four months to a year of being on campus.
I strongly believe this happened because there was a lack ofaccountability. Student-athletes were simply not holding themselves accountable for their actions on or off the court. The most common excuse I heard was that the coach and player didn't see eye to eye. In my role, I knew that I could assist in bridging that divide between player and coach.
I got into the collegiate ranks of coaching when my junior college coach, Doug Wagemester from Kirkwood Community College, gave me the opportunity to join his staff. I jumped on it!
Me: What are some of the most important things you have learned a long the way during your coaching career?
Jimmie: There are three things that I have learned during my time as a coach that have grown to be very important to me and they are loyalty, integrity and trust. These are essential to coaching and life as well.
Me: How important do you think relationships are as it relates to our profession and why?
Jimmie: Relationship building is by far the most important attribute coaches must establish. We must be able to communicate with parents, teachers and other coaches. Being able to communicate builds trust and strengthens relationships. In this profession, relationships can bring a multitude of opportunities.
Me: What advice would you give a coach who wants to pursue a career in collegiate coaching?
Jimmie: There are two things I would say to a coach wanting to pursue a career in collegiate coaching. First, to understand that we are coaching basketball first but we must be servants our young men and women to help prepare them for life. Second, do not join the profession with the soul focus on chasing the money. You must focus on doing great at the job you have and trust in you and your craft as a coach.
Me: I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your insight and time Jimmie and we look forward to hearing you speak at the MCA Clinic on June 3rd.
Jimmie: Thanks for having me and I am looking forward to it as well.