After three seasons as Davis High’s girls basketball coach, Karen Foster announced she is stepping down.
“The personal reasoning is … about all the things my family has going on (the next two years),” Foster, 48, told The Enterprise. “I decided to put my two daughters first.
“Of the many titles I’ve had over the years, the title that trumps everything is the title of mom.”
Foster’s daughter Brandi will be married in Tennessee next April and Megan is expected to graduate from Chico State this year before enlisting her mom’s help to find a graduate school.
“I just don’t have time enough to do everything,” said the 20-year Air Force veteran who came to Davis in 1999. “I spent many sleepless nights before making this decision. It’s the right decision. I’m just sad for my (players) and their parents.”
DHS athletic director Dennis Foster told The Enterprise that Karen Foster will be missed, adding:
“She’s been able to build on what (former DHS coach) Jeff Christian started. In her time, Davis basketball became a comprehensive program that developed girls as ball players and young women. She had quite a bit of success on the floor.”
Karen Foster completed her third season as varsity head coach in February. The 2013-14 Lady Blue Devils went 17-10 and lost a first-round playoff game at Enochs.
The previous season, DHS’ 23-5 campaign was the program’s most successful since the 1970s. Those Devils were 1-1 in that postseason.
For her varsity career, Foster teams were 50-31.
In an emotional Tuesday-night meeting with players and parents, Foster made her announcement.
“I’m proud of the accomplishments,” Foster continued. “I wanted the girls to hear the news from me so they knew how much (coaching and the girls) meant to me.”
In 10 years in the program, Foster served as a volunteer, paid assistant and eventually head coach.
In January 2011, Christian was removed and Dennis Foster became interim coach. Karen Foster became his assistant. That DHS squad went 21-7 (10-0 in Delta Valley Conference) before splitting two postseason games.
Karen Foster credited Christian with setting the tone for Lady Blue Devil advancement:
“I give Jeff credit. He mentored and built this program. If I hadn’t been a disciple of Jeff’s, this program wouldn’t be where it is.”
She thanked assistant coaches Heather Highshoe and Brett Andersen and former junior varsity coach Kalyca Seabrook for their contributions — going so far as to recommend Emerson Junior High physical education instructor Highshoe as a “capable successor.”
Foster says she will continue as a coach and director of operations and financing with the local Wildcat club basketball program and did not rule out returning to high school coaching if the opportunity presents itself later.
Her day job is accounting manager for the California/Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
“I am blessed to have this position,” said Foster, adding that her organization has been generous by providing time to concentrate on basketball.
“Coach Foster knows that discipline and a strong work ethic are needed to be successful on the court and in the classroom,” said Jim Belenis, father of Devil sophomore guard Anna Belenis. “She has taught my daughter things that will serve her well throughout her life, not just her time at Davis High.”
Dennis Foster, who is leaving Davis High in June, said a replacement for Karen Foster will be sought after he is replaced.
In the interim, he indicated that Highshoe and Andersen will conduct the offseason sessions.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-320-4456.