After turning down a bid to the women's National Invitational Tournament, some speculated that Ohio State women's basketball coach Jim Foster's tenure with the team may be on borrowed time. While not totally surprising, in what's still a notable move, the university announced Tuesday that Foster will not be back with the team next season for the 2013-2014 season.
Foster had 35 years of experience in the women's game and had been the head coach at Ohio State for 11 seasons. From 2002 through 2012, the Buckeyes had made ten consecutive women's NCAA tournaments until 2013 curtailed that streak. Despite having had taken Vanderbilt to four Elite Eights and a Final Four, Foster was never able to get the Buckeyes past the Sweet 16 which he reached in 2005, 2009, and 2011.
The Buckeyes will begin a national search immediately, and given the Buckeyes' war chest, the ultimate hire is expected to be a noteworthy one. The only real surprise regarding the firing is the timing as Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith had said on 97.1 The Fan's "Bishop & Rothman" not even two hours prior "We haven't begun to figure out exactly how we'll evaluate the season." Either Smith moves incredibly fast, or he wasn't being completely forthright about the athletic department's evaluation of Foster.