The Daily Gamecock

Former men's basketball coach dies at 86

Former men’s basketball head coach Bill Foster died of natural causes Thursday at the age of 86.

Foster, who coached the Gamecocks from 1980-86, was most famous for his six years leading the Duke Blue Devils where he made three NCAA Tournament appearances.

After compiling a .500 record through three years, Foster’s Blue Devils made a tremendous leap during the 1977-78 season. Duke earned a spot in the NCAA Championship, but lost to the Kentucky Wildcats. That same year, Foster was named NABC Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the honors with Texas’ Abe Lemons.

In 1980, Foster left Duke and was hired as South Carolina’s head basketball coach. He coached the Gamecocks for six years, making two NIT Tournament appearances.

Foster succeeded legendary Gamecocks basketball coach Frank McGuire and preceded coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

In addition to South Carolina and Duke, Foster coached three other Division I basketball programs including: Utah, Rutgers and Northwestern. Foster had 20-win seasons with four of the five teams and eclipsed nearly 450 wins for his career.

Foster was also involved off the court. He served as president of the National Association of College Basketball Coaches, associate commissioner of the Southwest Conference and vice president of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Foster's coaching career spanned from 1960 to 1993 without hiatus.