Chattanooga coach Jim Foster had a simple explanation for his unprecedented success.
“I guess I’ve had some pretty good teams,” Foster said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “The players are the ones that did something, I’ve just been around them for awhile.”
He became the first coach in women’s basketball to lead four different schools to the top 25 when the Mocs entered The Associated Press poll on Monday at No.
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Before Chattanooga entered the poll, Foster was one of nine coaches to lead three different teams to the top 25, guiding Saint Joseph’s, Vanderbilt and Ohio State to the rankings. He took over Chattanooga in 2013 and now has the Mocs, who host Samford on Monday night, in the top 25 for the first time since 1984 when the school spent four weeks in the poll.
“It’s a good group, they work really hard and want to be coached and that’s a great place for a coach to be,” Foster said of his team.
Chattanooga already has taken down Stanford and Tennessee this season joining a rare group to beat the women’s basketball powers in the same year.
“What you learn when you play teams like that, is how important it is to play for 40 minutes, how hard you have to play for 40 minutes,” said the 66-year-old coach. “It helped us win a couple of games that I don’t know if we would have if we hadn’t played them. I like to play teams that have a long history of success in March as it certainly helps you be better prepared.”
While the Mocs entered the poll for the first time in 30 years, South Carolina stayed No. 1 for the 10th consecutive week. The Gamecocks host No. 12 Texas A&M on Monday night.
The Gamecocks were followed by Connecticut, Baylor, Notre Dame and Maryland. Tennessee, Oregon State, Louisville, Florida State and Kentucky round out the first 10. The Seminoles jumped eight spots this week after beating the Cardinals and Wake Forest.
Oklahoma also entered the rankings for the first time this season at No. 24. Minnesota and Western Kentucky fell out.
This article was written by Doug Feinberg from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.