COLUMBUS, MISS. (MUW Athletics) – The Owls Athletic Department and Athletic Director Jason Trufant have named Charles ‘Buddy’ Foster as the new head coach of The W softball program.
“We are excited to have Buddy join our staff and continue the success of our softball program,” said Trufant of the new hire. “His wealth of knowledge and experience, along with his commitment to academics, will be a tremendous addition to our already amazing staff.”
Foster comes to The W after spending the past four seasons at Greenville University. While at Greenville his teams succeeded both on the field and in the classroom. ‘
The 2019 Panther squad was crowned Academic GPA National Champions by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The team accumulated a 3.78 GPA outdistancing over 400 other Division 3 softball programs. During his four seasons, his teams finished the academic year with a GPA greater than 3.5.
On the softball diamond, his team finished 2nd in the Saint Louis Intercollegiate Conference regular season three times in 2017, 2018, and 2019, while winning two consecutive SLIAC Tournament Championships on two occasions. Overall, the Panther softball program went 73-52 during his time leading the Panthers including a 42-12 record in the SLIAC. After being hired in the Fall of 2016, he led the 2017 team to its 2nd consecutive SLIAC Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in Whitewater, WI. The team finished the season with a 24-17 overall record and recorded a 2nd place finish in the SLIAC regular season with a 14-4 mark. His team followed that up by once again winning the SLIAC Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in Holland, MI. That team finished the regular season with a 21-17 record and a 15-3 mark in conference play.
At Greenville, Foster coached 16 All-SLIAC players led by 2018 Player of the Year Kate Rosado and 9 All-Midwest Region players.
Foster’s coaching career began at his alma-mater Southeast Missouri State University. He had three different tenures at SEMO. He began as a student assistant from 1988-1990. In 1993, he spent one season as a graduate assistant. He became a full-time staff member in 1997 and spent two seasons with the Red Hawks. During his time on staff, the softball team went 100-45, winning two regular-season Ohio Valley Conference Championships. The Red Hawks also won the OVC Conference Tournament in 1998 and 1999 and participated in two NCAA Division I tournaments. While in Cape Girardeau he coached 14 All-OVC Conference winners, two OVC Players of the Year, and two Academic All-Americans.
In 1999, Foster’s career moved him to Southern Illinois University where he spent six seasons. During his time in Carbondale, three of those teams advanced to the NCAA Division I tournament, and the 2005 squad went to the Sweet Sixteen. While coaching the Salukis, the program rose to a Top 25 program, finishing both the 2004 and 2005 season in the final ranking. The team compiled a record of 239-103 during his tenure. Foster coached 26 All-Missouri Valley Conference team members and three Academic All-Americans.
Following his tenure at SIUC, he accepted the head softball position at Bradley University for the 2006 season and inherited a program coming off a 16-35 (3-23 Missouri Valley Conference) season. The turnaround was immediate as the team went 25-23 (10-13 MVC) in his first season, and his 2007 squad went 26-23 to complete back to back winning seasons on the Hilltop for the first time in over 10 years. In all three seasons, the Braves finished ranked in the Top 25 nationally for team GPA with at least a 3.5 or above.
After the stop at Bradley, Foster went to Kansas University as associate head coach for one season before four years as associate head coach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. While at SIUE he helped transition the softball program from the Division II level to Division I. The improvement was steady going 27-24 in 2010 and in his last season the team finished with a record of 37-13. Foster coached 15 All-Ohio Valley Conference members in his four years in Edwardsville.
He returned to SIUC in 2013 for two years as an assistant coach. After the 2015 season, Foster decided to “retire” from coaching and spent the 2015-16 school year as the Athletic Director at Morthland College. It did not take him long to discover his true passion was coaching.
Foster earned his MAE from Greenville College in 2014. He completed a BA in Liberal Arts at Southeast Missouri State University in 1991.
Buddy and his wife Patty look forward to being a part of the Owl family.