1/25/2010 UofR Athletics
Mike Foster, who served as the offensive coordinator for the University of Rochester football team over the past four seasons, has stepped down from that position.
He came to the University as the offensive coordinator in 2006 to join head coach Scott Greene, who played for Foster as a running back at Canandaigua Academy. Foster served as the head coach at Canandaigua Academy for 23 seasons, compiling a record of 179 wins, 36 losses, and three ties. His overall scholastic record was 199 wins, 51 losses, and four ties.
Foster has relocated for part of the year to Greenville, South Carolina, joining his family. He still maintains a residence in Canandaigua.
“Leaving football after 41 seasons of coaching will be a life transition, but change is often good and opens new opportunities,” Foster said. “I enjoyed my time at U of R. I take a lot of great memories with me. I will really miss the athletes at Rochester and look forward to following the Yellowjackets in the future. The draw of being closer to my family was a major factor in my decision.”
He won seven Section V football championships and captured the New York State Championship in 1985 and 1999. Foster was inducted into the Section V Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame in 2007.
Greene took over as Rochester’s head coach in May, 2006. In his first season, he directed Rochester to a 7-3 regular season record, 4-2 in the Liberty League. Rochester played in the ECAC Northwest Championship game, falling in overtime to Alfred. The Yellowjackets won five straight that year and six of seven, starting with a 54-42 victory over Gettysburg College.
In 2007, Rochester won six straight, its longest winning streak since 1992. The Yellowjackets entered the final week of the season tied for the Liberty League title. They played in the ECAC Northwest Championship Game again and finished 6-5 overall.
In that 2006 season, three Rochester players set individual records. Running back Matt Bielecki rushed for 1,390 yards on 301 carries (both records). Quarterback Aaron Molisani, who played at Canandaigua, competed a record 67.5% of his passes (158 of 234) for 1,825 yards and 17 TDs. The completion percentage and TDs are single-season marks. The yardage is the second highest in a season. Wide receiver Jay Jay Vanderstyne caught 85 passes for 1,128 yards and 11 TDs. He set records for receptions and yardage and tied the mark for touchdowns.
Under Foster’s guidance, Rochester players broke 10 team and/or individual offensive records from 2006-2009. They flourished. Bielecki rushed for 1,160 yards in 2007. In 2008, freshman quarterback Braezen Subick completed 63.7% of his passes (130 of 204), the second highest completion rate behind Molisani’s 67.5%. In 2009, Clarence Onyiriuka ran for 1,245 yards, the second-highest single-season total. Onyiriuka is just the fifth man in school history to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
“Coach Foster has been more than a mentor to me,” said Greene. “He has been a friend, a confidant and a father figure to me since my early days as a young freshman at Canandaigua and he has never stopped being that person.
“I will always be grateful for his sacrifice to leave St. John Fisher and come to Rochester to help me in my endeavors as the head coach. Without his leadership and guidance we would not have had the success that we did early on. The program and the players at Rochester will always be better for having played for Coach Foster and the coaches he has worked with will only benefit for years to come because of his knowledge and experience of improving young men on and off the field.”
Foster holds three degrees from St. Bonaventure University: B.S. 1969, M.S. 1974, S.A.S., 1979. Before coming to Rochester, Foster served as the offensive coordinator at St. John Fisher College from 2002 to 2005.
“Mike stepped in at a critical time and provided veteran leadership to our staff,” said George VanderZwaag, the University’s Director of Athletics. “To have someone with Mike’s football background was immensely important to our development. I am deeply grateful for all that he has done in guiding our offense and building a strong foundation for our program.”